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Meals for under £10: Gizzi Erskine’s thai roast duck

Thai Roast Duck - Gizzi Erskine
Thai Roast Duck - Gizzi Erskine

Essentially, you are just giving the duck a hot bath in molten liquor for a few minutes before drying it out in the fridge overnight then roasting it. It’s paired with a delicious Thai watermelon salad, but serve the classic way with pancakes if you prefer.

Serves 4
30 mins prep
Allow 90 mins for cooking

What you will need:

  • 2 litres water
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 slice of galangal or ginger,
  • 2 spring onions
  • 5 tablespoons maltose or honey
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 duck, about 1.2–3kg
  • Thai Salad Dressing
  • lime wedges, to serve

For the salad:

  •  ½ watermelon, cubed
  •  100g roasted cashew nuts or peanuts
  •  handful of basil, mint and coriander leaves
  •  1 shallot, finely sliced


1. Place the water, star anise, galangal or ginger, spring onions, maltose or honey, soy sauce and salt in saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

2. Bring back to the boil, scoop out the aromatics, and plunge the duck, skin-side up, into the water and immerse fully. You may need to keep it pushed down with a wooden spoon.

3. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove the duck and dry fully on kitchen paper.

4. Lay a few sheets of cling film on a shelf in the fridge, and then place kitchen paper on top. Next, lay a wire rack on top of this. Place the duck on the wire rack and leave to dry in the fridge for 15 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Place the duck on a rack in an oven tray and fill with 300ml water. If you want classic roast Chinese duck that’s still pink, roast for 40 mins, until the skin is crisp and golden. For crispy duck, cook for 60 mins, turning the oven down to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 after 30 mins.

6. Leave the duck to rest for 10 mins before carving. Carve off the legs and use two forks to shred the leg meat, removing the bones as you go.

7. If serving pink, remove the breasts with the skin intact and cut widthways into slices; or you can shred it like crispy duck. Sprinkle over a tiny bit of salt, then arrange on one side of a large serving platter. Place the watermelon on the platter and scatter over the nuts, herbs, shallot slices and crispy shallots.

Serve with Thai Salad Dressing and lime wedges.

Recipe from Gizzi’s Healthy Appetite by Gizzi Erskine, published by Mitchell Beazley.