Do you love duck but feel that cooking it requires a lengthy process that is best left until the weekend? This quick and easy Hoisin Duck Stir Fry recipe is going to prove you wrong. In less than half an hour you could be feasting on succulent duck breast slices with crispy skin served on stir-fried noodles in a rich and flavourful hoisin stir-fry sauce. A super simple, yet somewhat decadent meal that is even bound to add an element of delight to the most lacklustre of days.
🛒 Key ingredients and possible alternatives
- Hoisin stir fry sauce - consists of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, and a small amount of Chinese five spice. Rice vinegar can be substituted with apple cider vinegar. The oyster sauce is a nice-to-have that you can omit if you need to.
- Egg noodles - I always use standard egg-based noodles that can be found in any supermarket.
- Sea or kosher salt - required for salting the duck breasts and the water to cook the noodles.
- Duck breast - I buy duck breast portions for this recipe, but you can cook up whole full-sized duck breasts. The duck is sliced after it has been cooked so either option is fine.
- Ginger, red chili, and garlic - add additional freshness, umami flavour and heat to the stir fry. Make sure you use fresh garlic and ginger. Fresh red chilli could be substituted for chilli flakes if necessary.
- Veggies- Carrot sticks and red pepper are often my veggies of choice for this recipe because they are easy to stir fry and have a fresh sweetness that contrasts with the fatty savouriness of the duck. There are many veggie options that would work well in this stir fry so feel free to pick the veggies you fancy or use the dish as an opportunity to use up vegetables that are lingering in your fridge.
- Spring onions/scallions - these are added to the finished dish to provide a little crunch and tangy fresh flavours that contrast with the richness of the duck and hoisin stir fry sauce.
🧑🍳 How to make Hoisin Duck Stir Fry
1. Make the sauce
Mix together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar and Chinese five-spice in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Cook the noodles
Cook the noodles according to packet instructions. Run them under cold water when you drain them to prevent them from sticking together and set aside.
3. Prepare the duck breasts
Score the skin in a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
4. Cook the duck
Place a wok or large frying pan on a high heat and add the duck breasts with the skin-side facing down and fry for approximately 5 minutes until the skin is brown and crisp. Then turn the duck breast over and fry for 3-4 more minutes until the bottom is brown. Use tongs to cook the sides of the duck breast then remove from the pan and place on a board to rest while you cook the stir fry.
4. Bring it all together
- Fry the veggies: Place the wok / frying pan on a high heat and add the ginger and chilli and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the carrot matchsticks and red pepper slices, and fry for a few minutes until they are tender. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and cook for one minute until fragrant.
- Add the noodles: Increase the heat of the pan to medium/high and add the cooked noodles and toss with the veggies until they are hot.
- Pour on the sauce: Increase the heat to high and pour on the sauce and cook for a few minutes until it reduces a little.
- Serve: Remove the pan from the heat and divide the stir-fried noodles and veggies into bowls. Cut the duck breast diagonally into slices and place it on top of each bowl with raw spring onions/scallions.
🔪 Tools and Equipment
- Sharp knife - for scoring the duck breast skin and prepping the veggies. Unless you have sharpened your knife very recently, I strongly advise sharpening it before you start because it makes scoring the duck breasts much easier.
- Large pan or wok - a wok is the best type of pan for stir-fries because its large sides enable you to toss the ingredients together quickly at a high heat. You can use a large frying pan if you don't have a wok.
- Saucepan - for boiling the noodles.
- Measuring spoons - I would never be without mine because they are great for measuring the sauce ingredients accurately. You can use normal spoons instead but it will be harder to get accurate measurements.
- Small bowl - for mixing the sauce ingredients.
- Tongs - are a very helpful tool for frying the duck breasts on a high heat safely. They are especially helpful for holding the duck breasts in place while you cook the sides and also great for serving the noodles.
👍 Top tips for perfect Hoisin Duck Stir Fry
- Prep your ingredients before you begin - make sure the veggies are chopped, the noodles are cooked and the sauce is made before you begin the stir-frying process. Things will move really quickly once you start stir-frying and there will not be time to prep as you go.
- Score the duck breast - do not skip this, it's an essential step if you want crispy skin because it enables the fat to render during the cooking process. Try to avoid cutting into the meat when you do this, you want the flesh to retain its moisture and be delicious and succulent when you bite into it.
- Cook the duck breast on a high heat - make sure your pan is red hot before you add the duck breast. You can test this by adding a tiny drop of water, if it sizzles and evaporates immediately you are good to go. If the water drop just sits there you need to get the pan hotter before you cook the duck breast.
- Let the duck breast rest - this allows the temperature to regulate and the juices to be reabsorbed back into the meat. If you slice the duck breast too soon you will lose these juices and the duck breast won't be as moist and delicious. Duck breast should be rested for 10 minutes. If you set it aside after cooking it should be sufficiently rested by the time you come to serve the stir fry.
Duck is a great source of protein and iron. It is higher in saturated fat than other leaner meats so it's best eaten in moderation, but it can definitely be a valuable part of a balanced and healthy diet.
This dish tastes best when served immediately because you will lose the crispy skin after this point. You can store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days and reheat them on the stove or in the microwave. You could freeze the leftovers, but I wouldn't advise it. Freezing is likely to result in dry lacklustre stir-fried noodles and chewy duck with soggy skin.
It's a definite yes from me, because it's delightfully crispy and flavourful when cooked well. It is the fattiest part of the duck breast. You might want to remove it if you are trying to reduce your fat intake or if fatty food isn't appealing to you.