Five Spice & Orange Duck

If you a fan of duck, I will make your day today as I am gonna feature my all time favourite – five spice & orange duck. Never does this dish fail to satisfy our hunger.

Often, over complicate a dish is a big no-no. Simple and good quality of the main ingredient itself is the centre of attention. Like five spice and orange duck, I use very simple marinate but I make sure that I spend a little more for 2 good pieces of duck breasts. I usually like to marinate meats a few hours before cooking or even overnight sometimes! This allows the marinate to work its magic in making a wonderful and impeccable dish.


In a typical Chinese family in Malaysia, duck is only served during special occasion. It’s not a dish that my mom makes on a frequent manner like chicken. I guess that’s why duck seems to be a very special dish when it’s served. In Chinese cooking, Roast duck, Peking duck and Crispy duck are the famous ones that no one will miss when visiting a Chinese restaurant.

So, why did I choose to choose five spice and orange as a pair? I think five spice brings out the real flavours of meats. Five spice incorporates the five basic flavors of Chinese cooking — sweet, sour, bitter,savory, and salty. What does it consist of? Fennel, cloves, Szechuan peppercorns, star anise, and cinnamon.

As for orange, I borrow the idea of French dish Orange Duck – Canard a l’orange. As you may say, five spice and orange duck is a dish of East & West combination. Let’s bring five spice and orange duck to your kitchen, shall we?


Five Spice & Orange Duck

Yield: 2 persons


2 duck breast
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1cm ginger, peeled and sliced
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 spring onions, halved lengthwise
1 tsp orange zest
100ml orange juice
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
1 tsp five spice powder


1. Place the duck breasts in a big bowl and put all the ingredients and seasonings. Mix well. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to marinate for a 3 – 4 hours.

2. Remove the duck breast from the marinate. Heat a pan and sear the duck breasts, skin side down. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Then, turn the other side and cook for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven at 180 ºC.

3. Once both side are seared, put the duck breasts in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes depending if you’d like to have the meats slightly medium rare or longer about 15 minutes more if you want to have it completely cooked. Brush the marinate every 15 minutes on each side to keep them moist and to have nice golden brown colour.

4. Slice the breasts thinly and serve on a bed of salad, if you like.