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MasterChef New Zealand


Crispy Duck Salad

MasterChef New Zealand on TV ONE and TVNZ Ondemand

Crispy Duck Salad
Recipe by Paula Saengthian-ngam

Wine match - Huntaway Reserve Pinot Noir

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Serves 2

Duck Breast

1 duck breast

Salt, to taste

1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, crushed

2 chicken livers, trimmed of sinew

½ cup milk

20g butter


Pickled Vegetables

1 Lebanese cucumbers, peeled, seeds removed

1 radish, sliced into very thin rounds

1 tbsp salt

Juice of 1 lime

1 tsp palm sugar

3 mint leaves, chiffonade

Coriander Oil

1 large bunch of coriander, blanched, refreshed in iced water, thoroughly dried

¼ cup peanut oil

Chilli Dressing

1 tbsp Jasmine rice,

1 tsp chilli oil

1 tsp chilli flakes

Juice of ½ lime

Fish sauce, to taste

Palm sugar, to taste

Crispy Shallots

2 shallots, peeled, very finely sliced

½ cup milk

Canola oil for deep frying


1 handful young celery leaves

1 handful micro coriander

Crème fraiche, to serve

Edible flowers, to serve

Papaya and Tomato

¼ papaya, peeled, deseeded, finely diced to 4mm

2 yellow cherry tomatoes, deseeded, diced to 4mm

2 red cherry tomatoes, deseeded, diced to 4mm


1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. To prepare the duck breast, score the skin in a crisscross pattern and rub with salt and Szechuan pepper. Place the duck in a cold frying pan, skin side down and slowly bring up the heat. Cook until the skin is crisp and remove the excess fat from the frying pan as it renders out. Once all of the fat is rendered, turn the breast over and sear the other side. Place in the oven to cook until the internal temperature of the duck reaches 62-64°C. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes or half of the total cooking time.

3. Soak the chicken livers in the milk for 10 minutes.

4. To prepare the pickled vegetables, peel the skin from the cucumber then use the peeler to create long ribbons. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Place the sliced radish in a separate bowl and sprinkle with salt. Allow the vegetables to sit for 20 minutes then rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly.

5. Combine the lime juice, palm sugar and mint to make the pickle dressing. Drizzle a little over the vegetables.

6. To cook the chicken livers, heat the butter in a small frying pan over high heat and add the livers. Pan fry for about 1 minute and season with salt. Set aside.

7. To make the coriander oil, place the coriander and peanut oil in a blender and blend for a long time until thoroughly combined. Strain the oil through a fat filter or very fine sieve, then place in a squeeze bottle.

8. To make the chilli dressing heat a small pan over medium heat and dry toast the rice until golden brown. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and crush until fine. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and add the chilli oil and chilli flakes. Cook until fragrant then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Combine the rice, chilli oil and flakes, lime juice and add fish sauce and palm sugar to taste to achieve a harmonious balance of flavours. Set aside.

9. To make the crispy shallots, place the sliced shallots in the milk to soak for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Heat the canola oil in a saucepan or deep fryer to 160°C. Place the shallots in the oil and fry until golden and crisp.

10. To serve, place a ring mould in the centre of a large serving bowl, drizzle the celery leaves and micro coriander with a little pickle dressing and place the leaves in the base. Place the pickled cucumber on the greens then fan out the slices of radish on top. Slice the duck breast on an angle, against the grain, and place 3 slices atop each salad. Top the duck with slices of chicken liver. Drizzle the chilli dressing over the duck then top with crispy shallots. Finish with a sprig of micro coriander, a flower and a quenelle of crème fraiche. Spoon the papaya and tomato around the plate and drizzle with coriander oil.

This recipe is untested in the MasterChef NZ kitchen