This is a fresh, easy starter, and perfect for a party platter. Just line them up – you don’t even need cutlery. You can buy cooked duck meat rahter than roasting a whole duck and cutting it down. It’ll be a lot handier and tastes just as good. You need to make the pickled cucumber the night before


Serves 4

250g water

100g honey

10g salt

100g rice vinegar

1 cucumber

400g cooked duck meat, chopped

70g hoi sin sauce

20ml soy sauce

20ml sesame oil

20ml Chinkiang vinegar

2 spring onions, finely chopped

50g fresh coriander

1 iceberg lettuce

Pickled ginger and cress and crispy rice noodles, to garnish


1 For the pickle, heat the water and melt the honey and salt into it. Add the rice vinegar and allow to cool.

2 Cut the cucumber into 5cm pieces, then cut each piece in quarters lengthways. Cut out the seeds then slice into strips. Place in a bowl and pour over the pickle liquor Leave overnight to pickle

3 For the filling, in a saucepan, heat the duck meat and add the hoi sin, soy sauce, spring onion, chinkiang vinegar and chopped coriander until heated through.

4 Cut the out the root of the iceberg lettuce and leave to soak in some cold water for 10 minutes. You should then be able to take it apart in leaves. Trim each leaf down to form a cup for the filling

5 Arrange the leaves on a plate, spoon in some of the warm filling and garnish with a few pieces of pickled cucumber and a sprig of coriander.

6 Top with crispy rice noodles, pickled ginger and cress.

Tip: To make the crispy noodle topping, deep fry a handful of rice noodles in a deep fat fryer at 180ºC until they beging to puff up.

This recipe originally appeared in FOOD&WINE Magazine, April 2016

Recipe credit: Hang Dai Chinese

Photography credit:  Brian Clarke, assisted by Harry Weir

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