Warm Duck Breast Salad with Asian Spices and Hazelnut Vinaigrette
PREP TIME: 2 1/2 Hours

We particularly enjoy this dish as a first course, as it seems to wake up the taste buds. Try to include some spicy greens - mizuna, red mustard, nasturtium leaves - in the mix. The challenging part of this dish is to serve it quickly so that the greens stay chilled and the duck is still warm.


  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced green onions
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce (see Note)
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp 5-spice powder (see Note)

Vinaigrette INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut oil
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil or light olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced chives
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup toasted, coarsely chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 whole duck breasts (1 to 1 1/4 pounds each)
  • 4 to 6 ounces mixed baby salad greens
  • Edible flowers (nasturtium, borage) for garnish (optional)

Bone duck breasts and trim off excess fat. Cut each breast in half and place in a shallow dish. Combine ingredients for marinade and coat breasts thoroughly. Allow to marinate for 2 hours at room temperature. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for vinaigrette at least 2 hours before serving, to allow the flavors to develop.

To assemble salad, preheat broiler or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. Artfully arrange baby greens on individual serving plates. Wipe excess marinade off duck breasts and grill or broil until medium-rare, about 2 1/2 minutes per side. Do not overcook. Quickly slice breast on the bias and arrange on plates with greens. Drizzle vinaigrette over greens. Garnish with flower petals, if available. Serve immediately.

NOTE: These ingredients can be found in Asian markets.

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