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I'm a London-based food writer, stylist and author. Click here to see more about me and my work

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Duck and mango salad

My family and I recently spent a week in Puglia, Italy and ever since we returning, I’ve had a huge craving for Asian food. We did stuff ourselves on gorgeous Italian ingredients but after while I start hankering for my salty soy and ginger fix. When the weather gets nice, I love making main dish salads, and Asian are particularly refreshing. This one is full of zingy flavours and a snap to throw together. Salads are kind of my thing and hence the second posting in a row. I think I may have a little addiction problem with vinegar…..admittedly I am a bit obsessed with it and could drink it straight out of the bottle. Years ago I wrote a book called ‘The well-dressed salad’ and it will always be one of my favorite subjects to write about. The best way to make this is to buy a Peking duck kit at the supermarket, heat up the meat and then shred it. For those of you lucky enough to live near a Chinatown, you can just buy a roasted one. If neither of those work, then rub a couple of duck legs with five spice and salt and roast for 1 hour at 200c/400f and pull the flesh apart. Juicy mango, spicy lettuce and a balsamic, lime and soy dressing are tossed in with the rich meat but balance it out with freshness. Have it on its own for dinner or make it as a platter salad for a summer bbq.

Adapted from Meals in Heels cookbook

duck salad with mango and chilli soy dressing

prep time 20 minutes cook time 30 minutes

serves 4 as a main or 6 starters

200 g (7 oz) watercress, mizuna or rocket (arugula)

1 ripe, firm mango, cut into pieces

1 small Lebanese cucumber, cut into ribbons

6 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced

4 Chinese roasted duck legs, meat shredded

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

90 g (1 cup) bean sprouts, trimmed

chilli soy dressing

½ thumb sized red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

2 tablespoons caster sugar

80 ml (21/2 oz/1/3 cup) light soy sauce

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

juice of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 180c/350f. Cook the duck for 30 minutes on a baking tray and then shred the meat. If making ahead then refrigerate in foil until using. In a small bowl or jam jar, combine the dressing ingredients, shake or whisk well and set aside.

Arrange the salad leaves on individual plates or a large platter. Scatter over the mango, cucumber and spring onion.

Just before serving place the shredded duck in a baking dish covered with foil for 5 minutes to warm through and arrange a handful over each plate. Just before serving pour over the dressing and sprinkle over the bean sprouts and sesame seeds to serve.

Food and prop styling Jennifer Joyce Photos Mowie Kay


  1. Su-yin says:

    Love the vibrant colours in the salad, I love how you make something so simple look so good!

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