photo: A delicious tea-smoked duck dish

Duck is commonly used in Southeast Asian delicacies1. The rich-tasting duck meat and fatty skin go particularly well with the sweet, sour, and spicy flavors of Southeast Asian cuisine. When cooked, duck meat is slightly briny and produces a savory lingering flavor. Duck fat is low in polyunsaturated acids, which is similar to the level of olive oil2. The history of duck dishes in Chinese cuisine can be dated back to the 10th Century, where the Chinese began roasting them3. Over the years, there have been many creative adaptations of duck recipes.

The Ivy serves crispy duck meat with watermelon salad. The meat is marinated overnight and simmered gently for an hour and a half. It is coated with tempura flour and fried until golden brown. The watermelon salad is a mixture of several ingredients, such as cashew nuts and sesame seeds4. This dish contains sufficient nutrients. Watermelon offers significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C5. Cashew nuts helps in lowering blood pressure due to the presence of magnesium found within it6.

One unique combination to pair with duck is using prunes and chocolate sauce. Overpowering as it might sound; chocolate can be a great ingredient to pair with savory food, especially with dark red meat such as duck. Chocolate enhances the earthy notes of spices and sweetness of dried fruits7. For example, Checker’s in Malaysia, serves an interesting combination of prune and chocolate sauce with duck meat8. The succulent duck breast meat is complemented with a rich velvety prune sauce, while the chocolate gives a subtle depth of flavor, adding a luxurious feel to the slightly earthy flavor of the prunes9.

Tea-smoked duck is heavenly when paired correctly. This dish can be done by using several kinds of black tea leaves. Traditional Sichuan tea-smoked duck uses tea leaves such as Ceylon or Darjeeling, while celebrity chef Jamie Oliver combines Chinese five-spice powder with Assam tea leaves. The duck is drizzled with olive oil to allow the duck meat to absorb as much flavor from the tea leaf rub. The meat is cooked in the oven for 90 minutes10.


1 Euromonitor International. (2015). Meat Consumption Trends in Asia Pacific, and What They Mean For Foodservice Strategy. [online] Available at: http://blog.euromonitor.com/2015/08/meat-consumption-trends-in-asia-pacific-and-what-they-mean-for-foodservice-strategy.html

2 Eat Drink Paleo. (2016). Cooking With Duck + 15 Brilliant Duck Breast Recipes. [online] Available at: http://eatdrinkpaleo.com.au/duck-breast-recipes-and-how-to-cook-this-delicious-meat/

3 Saveur. (2013). The World of Duck. [online] Available at: http://www.saveur.com/article/travels/the-world-of-duck

4 Luxury Restaurant Guide. (2015). The Ivy Re-opens/ Chef Recipe Crispy Duck and Watermelon Salad. [online] Available at: https://blog.luxuryrestaurantguide.com/2015/06/06/the-ivy-re-openschef-recipe-crispy-duck-and-watermelon-salad/

5 Live Science. (2017). Watermelon: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts. [online] Available at: https://www.livescience.com/46019-watermelon-nutrition.html

6 Stylecraze. (2016). 15 Amazing Health Benefits of Cashew Nuts (Kaju) – Are You Eating Them? [online] Available at: http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-cashew-nuts/#gref

7 The Independent. (2013). I Should Cocoa: Chefs Are Giving Chocolate A Starring Role in Savoury Dishes. [online] Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/i-should-cocoa-chefs-are-giving-chocolate-a-starring-role-in-savoury-dishes-8916500.html

8 Trip Advisor. (u.d). Duck breast with prune-chocolate sauce. [online] Available at: https://www.tripadvisor.in/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g298570-d1101178-i53621839-Checker_s-Kuala_Lumpur_Wilayah_Persekutuan.html

9 Theo Cooks. (2014). Duck Breast With Prune and Chocolate Red Wine Sauce – Duck Breast Recipes. [online] Available at: http://www.theocooks.com/duck-breast-recipe-chocolate-prune-sauce/

10 The Malay Mail. (2015). Let Jamie Oliver show you how to prepare roast duck using tea leaves (VIDEO) [online] Available at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/eat-drink/article/let-jamie-oliver-show-you-how-to-prepare-roast-duck-using-tea-leaves-video#rBJPeIgDM0Xzjfed.97