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Five-spice duck with stir fried cucumber & cashews

Five-spice duck with stir fried cucumber & cashews

Succulent duck with a crispy skin paired with cool-yet-spicy cucumbers. Once cooked, cucumbers have a texture similar to that of the white part of pak choi – both chopped pak choi or sliced green beans could be used instead, if you prefer.

Angela Hartnett cooked this recipe for Nick Grimshaw and guests Rick Edwards & Emer Kenny on episode 4, season 3 of Dish, the Waitrose podcast. 

Discover all recipes prepared by Angela Hartnett on seasons 1-3 of the Dish podcast. Dish is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare15 mins
  • Cook20 mins
  • Total time35 mins
  • Plusmarinating

Please note, we take every care to ensure the product, allergen and recipe information displayed is correct. However, should a product be unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution provided. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please always check the product label before use.


  • 2 packs 2 Duck Breasts (4 duck breasts in total)
  • 1 tbsp light brown soft sugar
  • 1 fine salt
  • 1 tbsp Chinese five spice
  • 50g cashews
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 2 clove/s cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, halved lengthways, then cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • Coriander leaves and finely sliced salad onions, to serve (optional)
  • Steamed white rice, to serve


  1. Use a sharp knife to score a criss-cross pattern on the skin of the duck breasts. Mix together the sugar, salt and five-spice. Rub the mixture all over both sides of the duck. Lay the breasts skin-side-up and in a single layer on a plate. Chill, uncovered, for at least 1 hour, or ideally overnight.

  2. Wash the spiced salt from the duck breasts and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place them, skin-side-down, into a cold frying pan. Cook over a low heat for 10-12 minutes, until the skin is golden all over. Rendering the fat slowly this way gives crispy skin, so resist increasing the heat to speed things up. Turn the duck breasts over and cook for 4 minutes more for medium, or 5 minutes for well done. Set aside to rest.

  3. Meanwhile, pour off all but 2 tbsp fat from the frying pan. Return the pan to the heat and add the cashews. Stir fry 2 minutes, or until they get a little colour. Add the chilli and garlic and stir for a few seconds, until aromatic. Tip in the cucumber and stir fry for 1 minute.

  4. Combine the soy, rice vinegar and caster sugar, then pour over the cucumber, stirring until coated in a thick, glossy sauce. Serve with the duck, sliced, garnished with coriander and chilli if using, and white rice.

Cook’s tip

To boost the veggies, Angela added pak choi and purple sprouting broccoli to the stir-fried cucumber. 

    And to drink...

    Cave de Turckheim Gewurztraminer



    Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


    1,821kJ/ 435kcals



    Saturated Fat












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