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Gingery-Hot Duck Salad

This incredible duck salad recipe from Nigella Lawson's Nigella Bites book is a slight reworking of a classic Cambodian beef salad. Tangy with ginger and lime, it's a perfect lunch dish.

From the book

Nigella Lawson


I don’t buy into this anti-meat drive. Indeed, I am vehemently pro-protein. Nor am I fatphobic, so I tend to leave the fatty layer of skin on the duck breast before I griddle (or fry) it, but remove it before cooking by all means if you have succumbed to the lure of the lean. And if that’s the case, you’ll be pleased to learn that not one drop of oil need go into the dressing. However, I often sprinkle a little toasted sesame oil over at the end, which is why I’ve still listed it in the ingredients. Your call.

The salad itself is a slight reworking of a Cambodian beef salad I often make; here the lime juice in the steeping mixture (which turns into the dressing) is supplemented with orange juice (Asian evocations of duck à l’orange and all that), but in season, around January, use instead of this combination the fragrantly acerbic juice of one Seville orange.

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1 duck breast
2 tbsp fish sauce
juice of 1/2 lime and juice of 1/2 orange, or of 1 Seville orange
1 cayenne chilli, finely chopped
1cm ginger, grated
few drops sesame oil (optional)
50g baby spinach, watercress, lambs lettuce or a mixture

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Grill or fry the duck breast – fat-side down if not removed – until it’s cooked to juicy pinkness.

Let it rest on a board while you mix the fish sauce, lime and orange juice (or just Seville-orange juice), chilli, ginger and optional sesame oil together in a bowl.

Pour any juices that the duck has made into the bowl, and then carve the meat on the diagonal into thin slices. Toss the sliced duck into the bowl and stir everything well. Turn it out onto a serving plate covered with the salad leaves.

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