Lettuce Wraps with Sesame Noodles


serves 4
15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
2 duck breasts, about 225 g (8 oz) each, trimmed
60 ml (4 tbsp) sake
60 ml (4 tbsp) soy sauce
30 ml (2 tbsp) mirin
15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar
1/2 cucumber, halved, seeded and finely diced
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped red onion
2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
30 ml (2 tbsp) rice vinegar
115 g (4 oz) rice vermicelli, soaked in warm water until soft
15 ml (1 tbsp) dark sesame oil
15 ml (1 tbsp) black sesame seeds, toasted
handful of coriander leaves
12 - 16 large green or red lettuce leaves
handful of mint leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the duck breasts, skin side down and fry until golden. Turn each breast and fry the other side briefly. Remove the cluck, rinse under hot water to remove excess oil, then drain.

2. Combine the sake, soy sauce, mirin and sugar in saucepan large enough to hold both duck breasts in a single layer. Bring to the boil, add the duck, skin side down, lower the heat and simmer for 3 — 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the duck. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the duck to cool in the liquid.

3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the duck to a board then slice thinly using a large sharp knife. Return the pan to a low heat and cook the sauce until it reduces and thickens slightly.

4. In a serving bowl, mix the diced cucumber with the red onion, chillies and rice vinegar. Set aside.

5. Cook the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water for about 3 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain again, then tip into a serving bowl and toss lightly with the sesame oil and seeds. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Place the thickened sauce and coriander leaves in separate serving bowls, alongside the bowls of noodles and the cucumber mixture. Arrange the lettuce leaves and sliced duck on individual serving plates.

7. To serve, place a few slices of / cluck, some noodles, cucumber, herbs and sauce inside a lettuce leaf, wrap and eat.

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