Teriyaki Duck Breast

April 21, 2014
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

A few things of note about this recipe. Typically speaking a teriyaki sauce recipe contains mirin, it is a Japanese sweet wine. I find it insipid and when I came across Andrea Nguyen's homemade version and discovered how simple it is to make I just did away with store bought mirin altogether. The second thing about this recipe is the orange juice, the idea coming from Hiroko Shimbo and her book, The Japanese Kitchen. It is not typical of teriyaki but in this case it is a nice back note of taste that is really great in cutting the richness of the duck. Adjust the sweetness of the sauce with less or more sugar according to your tastes. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 2 Moulard(or sometimes called Magret) duck breasts, about 12 oz each
  • 1 cup dry sake
  • 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce, or you favorite kind
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup scallions, sliced into thin rings
  1. Gently score the fat side of the duck breasts into a cross hatch pattern. Be careful not to cut to deeply.
  2. Place the duck breast skin side down into a heavy bottomed sauté pan. Place the pan over medium low heat and let the fat begin to render. As the fat weeps out of the breast it will puddle.
  3. Turn the heat up a notch. Once the fat begins to bubble at the edge of the breast gently try to lift the breast without tearing the skin. Once the breasts are free from the pan turn the heat up a little more.
  4. Saute the breast until they are very brown on the skin side only. It will look as though the meat isn't cooked at all. This is what you want.
  5. Remove the breast from the pan and set them aside. Drain the duck fat into a jar and reserve the fat for another use.
  6. Place the pan back onto the heat and add the sake and sugar. Bring the sake to a boil to dissolve the sugar and evaporate the alcohol. Let the sake reduce to 2/3 cup. Add the soy and orange juice and stir. Taste the sauce and if it seems to strong add a splash of water and if it is too weak add a splash of tamari.
  7. Add the duck back to the skillet skin side up and simmer the breast while bastion the skin until you have cooked them to the desired temperature. I like rosy pink, somewhere around medium rare to medium.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and move the duck to a cutting board. Add the half the green onions to the sauce. Slice the duck into thin slices.
  9. Pour the sauce onto a platter, then arrange the duck nicely on top and garnish with the remaining green onions. Serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Austin Burges
    Austin Burges
  • Judy Sennesh
    Judy Sennesh
  • Clay
  • Chef Devaux
    Chef Devaux
  • MaureenOnTheCape

16 Reviews

Austin B. February 12, 2019
Do you have a recommendation for a side for this?
thirschfeld February 12, 2019
Austin B. February 14, 2019
Appreciate the quick response. Unfortunately, Whole Foods discontinued Duck Breast out here. Looks like it's gonna be Swedish Meatballs tonight.
emcsull January 27, 2017
Mr. Hirschfeld, you have killed it again. Terrific. Reminds me very much of a recipe in my Japanese cookbook, much the same but one has to plunge the fried duck breast into boiling water and then press it between plates with weights for half an hour "to remove unwanted fluids and characteristic odours". Much easier. Just as good if not better. Thanks.
Judy S. July 16, 2016
What temperature would the duck be at medium rare? I'd rather use a meat thermometer than keep making cuts to take a look.
Lazyretirementgirl July 31, 2016
140 worked fine for me -- medium rare to medium.
Clay April 7, 2016
This was one of the best I have had recipes. Thanks! I served it with the Pasta,mushrooms and peas recipe and was delighted.
Chef D. December 18, 2015
That teriyaki duck looks delicious
MaureenOnTheCape September 12, 2015
I had everything but the orange juice and honestly, I don't think it could have been improved. It is scrumptious and I will definitely make this again!
Tashipluto December 12, 2014
I made this tonite. Subbed pomegranate molasses for the Orange juice and served over a bed of greens. Delicious. Thanks for the recipe!
Adrienne L. July 1, 2014
This was fantastic. The recipe was easily halved, and I substituted mirin for the sake and it turned out great! I would have appreciated a little more guidance regarding the length of the simmer, rather than "to desired temperature," as I don't cook duck often and don't have a good sense of when it's done (other than sticking a meat thermometer in it). However, in the end, it was declared a keeper and I'll definitely be making it again!
Sherman May 8, 2014
The Mulard (or Moulard) is a domestic duck hybrid of Pekin and Muscovy ducks.
Magret is the French term for a fillet [i.e. boneless] from a duck’s breast.
juliunruly May 6, 2014
This was deeeelicious. The sauce was very charismatic, yet not thick or cloying. Thanks for the great recipe!
juliunruly July 1, 2014
It just occurred to me – I should point out that I actually halved the amount of sugar.
emcsull January 27, 2017
woman after my own heart. Just did the same.
Amy R. April 28, 2014
It looks great and does not sound complicated. 10x for the idea!