The Ivy Leeds: A crispy duck and watermelon salad recipe for a taste of fine-dining at home

The Ivy Leeds has shared its crispy duck and watermelon salad recipe, for a taste of fine-dining at home.

Saturday, 21st August 2021, 4:45 pm

The dish serves four starter portions and is made up of duck served two ways - one crispy and the other pan-fried and dressed with homemade hoisin sauce.

"This recipe has been refined over the years," head chef Tom Crocker said.

"The combination of the sticky sweet duck and refreshing watermelon works so well, as well as the textures of the raw salad and the toasted cashews."

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How to cook The Ivy's crispy duck salad recipe for a taste of fine-dining at home


The duck

2 duck legs

0.75 litres chicken stock (a good stock cube is fine)

Tom Crocker is the head chef at The Ivy Leeds

Rapeseed oil

1 tbsp cornflour

The marinade

50ml light soy sauce

25g fresh ginger

1 garlic clove (crushed)

A few fresh coriander stalks

1-star anise

1 tsp Chinese five spice

The Sauce

25g fresh ginger peeled

1 x stick of lemongrass, trimmed

75ml mirin

75ml light soy sauce

50ml hoisin sauce

40g honey

1 tbsp cornflour

The Salad

40g cashew nuts

5g sesame seeds

200g watermelon flesh (cubed)

1/4 small bunch of fresh coriander leaves

140g mouli or black radish (thinly sliced by hand or on a mandolin)

5g fresh red chilli finely chopped (no seeds)

60g shredded pak choi

60g beansprouts

60g vinaigrette

Preparing the duck

Mix together all marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl, use your hands to ensure the duck legs are fully covered. Cover and marinate overnight in the fridge.

The following day, add the duck legs and marinade to a large saucepan. Cover with the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 90 minutes or until the meat is tender and comes away from the bone. Remove the duck from the stock and set aside to cool.

When cooled, remove the fat and bones, and shred the meat into large flakes and set aside - check seasoning.

Hoisin sauce

Add the ginger and lemongrass to a mortar and pestle, bash until the juices have been extracted.

Measure the mirin, soy, and hoisin and add to a saucepan using a sieve. Add the crushed ginger and lemongrass and press down the solids into the sieve so you catch all the flavoursome juices. Discard the solids.

Add the honey and heat the ingredients gently over a low heat.

Mix the cornflour with a little water to form a paste, then pour half of the paste into the pan. Whisk gently, as the sauce thickens and the flour cooks out. Once thickened, set to one side.

For the salad

Toast the cashew nuts in a large frying pan over the lowest heat, which releases the natural oil and toasts them.

Keep them moving in the pan to avoid burning. Once golden in colour, add the sesame seeds to the pan and toast for a further minute. Set Aside

Take half of the shredded duck, dust in a little cornflour and shallow fry in hot rapeseed oil until super crispy, turning using a slotted spoon. Once crispy, drain on kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.

Add the rest of the shredded duck to a lightly oiled frying pan or skillet pan. Once crispy, add in the rest of the warm hoisin sauce and mix together.

Cut the melon into bite size chunks and set aside, then add to a mixing bowl with the shredded pak choi and beansprouts. Drizzle over a little of the warm sauce to dress the salad.

Final assembly

Take the thinly sliced mouli and dress with the vinaigrette, before arranging around a black plate in a circular motion.

Add 3/4 chunks of watermelon into the centre of the plate, then place the Pak Choi dressed salad on top of the watermelon. Place the hot duck on top of the salad and drizzle a little more of the sweet hoi sin over the top.

Add the crispy duck to the top of the salad and garnish with the red chilli, coriander leaves, sesame seeds and cashews nuts.

You can drizzle more of the sauce on to your liking. Enjoy!

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