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Sticky Duck with Chinese Pickled Radishes

Make the most of this turnip-like vegetable by stir-frying the green leaves and pickling the veg - serve with rich Asian-spiced meat.

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: 15 minutes
    •    Cook time: 40 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 2


For the Pickled Radishes:

    •   2 bunches radishes, sliced, leaves reserved
    •   2 tbsp golden caster sugar
    •   1 tbsp white wine vinegar
    •   1 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
    •   1 tbsp brown sugar
    •   1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced

For the duck:

    •   1 tbsp clear honey
    •   1 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
    •   1 tbsp rice wine
    •   1 tbsp white wine vinegar
    •   1 tsp five spice powder
    •   2 duck breasts

For the Radish Leaves:

    •   1 tbsp vegetable oil
    •   leaves from 2 bunches radishes
    •   2 garlic cloves, sliced
    •   1 tsp low-salt soy sauce
    •   1 tsp sesame oil
    •   1 tsp sesame seeds


  1. Put the radishes in a sieve over a bowl. Sprinkle with the caster sugar and 2 tsp salt, and leave for at least 30 mins or up to 1 hr. Make a dressing by mixing the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and chilli together until the sugar dissolves. Gently press the radishes to release any liquid, then tip them into a bowl and pour over the dressing.
  2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. For the duck, mix the honey, soy, rice wine and vinegar in a small bowl. Slash the skin of the duck breasts and season with salt, pepper and the five-spice powder. Heat an ovenproof frying pan and cook the duck, skin-side down, for 5 mins until golden. Flip over, baste with the honey and soy mix, then put the pan in the oven for 15-20 mins, turning the breasts a couple of times to glaze the skin. Leave the duck in the pan to rest.
  3. For the radish leaves, heat the oil in a small wok, add the leaves and garlic, and stir-fry until the leaves are just wilted. Splash with soy, drizzle with sesame oil and scatter with sesame seeds. Serve the duck breasts whole or sliced – it’s up to you – with the pickled radishes and the stir-fried leaves.

This great family recipe is thanks to BBC Goodfood Recipes at


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