Another day, another salad. Can you tell I’ve fully embraced the summer spirit? Today’s recipe is a Thai inspired crispy skin duck noodle salad. Think sweet and sour, a little bit tangy and quite spicy, set against the cool and sweet flavours of cucumber and carrot, set against rich, crispy-skinned duck. Yum!
This Thai duck noodle salad was inspired by one I had many years ago, back in Australia. There was an absolutely delicious little Thai restaurant around the corner from my home where I’d regularly order salads. Although, more often than not, a Thai Beef Salad was my go-to, every now and then I couldn’t say no to a crispy skin duck salad. Especially when paired with that deliciously piquant Thai dressing!
So this recipe is my attempt to recreate that gorgeous salad from many years ago, and to help bring a little bit of sunshine to Scotland.
The beautiful weather, I should mention, has returned to the usual rain. It’s been relentless! But considering how verdant the hills seen from my office window are, the rain is always worth it.
Given that their are a few strange ingredients in this recipe, it’s time to discuss them below:
Let’s talk Ingredients…
Duck: Duck breast fillets are much larger, and fattier than chicken. As you fry the duck skin, the fat renders turning the skin crispy and releasing a lot of the fattiness from the ducks’ flesh. This fat can either be discarded or saved for some roast potatoes the following day! Duck is fairly common at supermarkets these days, though a trip to the butcher may be necessary.
Lemongrass: fresh lemongrass stalks can be found at most supermarkets these days. Personally, I prefer to use the prepared minced lemongrass from a bottle, as this is simply much easier to prepare.
Palm sugar: Available at most Asian supermarkets, it is becoming a more regular sight in most grocery stores. However, if you’re unable to find this, then caster sugar is a simple swap. It may seem a hefty amount of sugar in this recipe, but my general rule of thumb is to use equal amounts of sugar to the fish sauce in Thai cooking.
Fish sauce: Not for the faint of heart, use this sparingly, and never be tempted to “add a little more”! It’s a very powerfully flavoured sauce, and the lime and sugar within this dressing helps to balance out the strong flavours.
Thai Crispy Skin Duck Noodle Salad Recipe
- 2 duck breast fillets with skin on
- 1 cucumber, grated
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 spring onions, white parts finely sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 100g rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 tbsp minced lemongrass
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp palm sugar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp minced chilli
- 1 tbsp coriander roots, finely diced
- Fried Shallots to serve
Crispy Skin Duck
- Preheat oven to 190C.
- Pat dry the duck skin with a paper towel, and score using a sharp knife.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, and fry the duck skin-side down for 8 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Discard any excess oil every minute or so as it renders.
- Turn the duck so it's skin side up, and sear an additional minute.
- Transfer the duck fillets to the oven and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until cooked through, but still blushing.
- Remove from the oven, and set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Once cool to touch, thinly slice the duck and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the cucumber, carrots, spring onion, fresh coriander and fresh mint. Set aside.
- Cover the noodles in boiling water, and sit for 5 minutes or until cooked through.
- Strain noodles in a colander, and then rinse under cold water. Set aside to drain and cool completely.
- In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, stir together all dressing ingredients and heat through for 1-2 minutes or until palm sugar has completely dissolved.
- Set aside and all to cool.
Crispy Skin Duck Salad
- Toss the dressing and cooled noodles through the prepared salad and divide between four bowls.
- Top the salad with the crispy skin duck, and sprinkle with fried shallots.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 557Total Fat: 12.5gSaturated Fat: 4.4gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 915mgCarbohydrates: 87.7gFiber: 2.7gSugar: 48.3gProtein: 26.5g