Savory Duck Tacos

Two duck tacos in a plate in front of a glass and a bottle of Apothic Red


  • Small flour tortilla wraps
  • Sour cream
  • Pickled ginger (optional, store bought)
  • Chili peppers (optional as garnish)
  • Green scallions (optional as garnish)
  • Cilantro (optional as garnish)
  • Cucumber (thinly sliced, optional as garnish)
  • 4 whole duck breast (12 ounces per piece)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 thumb ginger (grated)
  • 4 cloves garlic (grated)

Pickled vegetables:

  • 1 carrot (julienned)
  • 1 daikon radish (julienned)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar


Marinade prep

  1. Thoroughly combine all the marinade ingredients together.
  2. Pour the marinade into a 12-inch tray or baking dish.

Duck prep

  1. Pat the duck dry with paper towels.
  2. Place the duck into the tray with the marinade, skin side up.
  3. Sprinkle salt on the skin.
  4. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or leave it uncovered in the fridge for a couple hours to overnight. If you marinate it in the fridge, place the duck on your kitchen counter for at least 20 minutes before cooking, so it returns to room temperature.

Cooking the duck

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Right before cooking, pat the duck dry with paper towels again. Score the skin ½ inch apart to form a diamond pattern, cutting across the skin with a sharp knife at 45 degree angles, and then switching to go the opposite direction. Be careful to only score the fat, and not to score the meat. This process will help render out some of the oil from the skin during the cooking process.
  3. You might need to cook the duck in two batches. Place the breast pieces skin-side down in a cold ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet. Turn on the heat to medium, and cook until the breasts are gently sizzling, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook for another 10 to 12 minutes until the skin turns golden brown. Flip the breasts over every 3 to 4 minutes to keep it from burning in its own fat. If the duck skin cooks too fast, turn down the heat to low.
  4. Once the duck has seared to your desired colour, and the skin has rendered out a significant amount of fat, transfer the cooked duck onto a plate and cook the rest of the breasts (if applicable) using the same method.
  5. Once cooked, arrange all the duck breasts back into the pan, skin-side down.
  6. Transfer the skillet into the oven and bake for 8 minutes, until the skin turns dark brown. Flip to skin-side up and bake for another 6 to 8 minutes, until the skin turns dark brown but not burnt.
  7. Transfer the duck onto a big plate, skin-side up. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes without covering, before carving.

Pickled vegetables prep

  1. Peel the carrot, and then julienne it by cutting it into thin sticks.
  2. Peel the radish, and then julienne it by cutting it into thin sticks.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the julienned carrots, radish, with the sugar and salt. Massage the mixture with your hands until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  4. Add water and rice vinegar to the bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.
  5. Use immediately, or seal the mixture in a Mason jar and refrigerate it overnight for best results.

Finish & Serve

  1. Brush your tortilla wraps with a thin layer of oil and give both sides a quick toast on a hot pan – being careful not to burn it.
  2. Once your duck breasts have rested for 10-15 minutes and have cooled down enough to handle, start cutting them into even slices.
  3. Prepare plates of warmed tortilla wraps, a platter of sliced duck breasts, and bowls of: sour cream, pickled veggies, rough chopped cilantro leaves, sliced cucumbers, sliced scallions, sliced red peppers and sliced radishes.
  4. Pour each guest a glass of Apothic Red, and have this interactive appetizer station be the perfect centrepiece for a casual night-in with close friends!

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