Pan-seared duck breast with gingered carrots, bok choy, and tamarind-lemongrass sauce

My mom’s youngest sister, Tia Xiomara, is married to a first generation Chinese in Venezuela  (did I mention I grew up in a melting pot!?).  From a very early age, I was lucky to hang out with his family and learn about his culture. I probably would have not tried duck while I lived there (as it is not a popular protein) but I find it delicious.  With so much flavor and richness, I like to serve it over vegetables and top it with the tangy and sweet tamarind-lemongrass sauce.  It’s DUCK time!



  • 2 magret duck breast halves
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Gingered Carrots

  • 8 French (baby) carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

Bok Choy

  • 4 baby bok choy (thoroughly washed)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Tamarind-Lemongrass Sauce

  •  1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup chicken broth, warm
  • 2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (may use 1 tbsp of rendered duck fat)
  • ½ cup white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass, minced



Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the duck breast in a cross hatch pattern (careful not to cut into the breast itself).  Heat a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Season duck breasts evenly with salt and pepper on both sides. Reduce heat to medium-low; place breasts, skin-side down, on the hot skillet, and cook for 10-12 minutes (until most of the fat has rendered and the skin is crispy and golden). Turn the breast over and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cut in ½ inch slices right before serving.

Gingered Carrots

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add sesame oil. Sauté baby carrots for 4-5 minutes, turning for even browning. Combine ginger and soy sauce in small bowl; add it to skillet and toss to coat. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Bok Choy

Boil 3-4 cups of water in a medium sauce pan. Season water with salt and blanch bok choy for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Transfer to platter and drizzle with sesame oil.

Tamarind-Lemongrass Sauce

Dissolve tamarind paste and honey in chicken stock; add soy sauce, stir, and set aside.

Heat oil in small sauce pan over medium-high heat; add onion to pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Add lemongrass and sauté for an additional minute. Add tamarind mixture to pan and stir with wooden spoon. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Blend all ingredients using immersion blender (food processor or regular blender, just be careful as mixture will be hot!) and run through mesh strainer.


Place half of the carrots over a bed of 4 bok choys halves. Top with pan-seared duck breast and drizzle with tamarind-lemongrass sauce. Enjoy!!


The boy choy and carrots may be served at room temperature on warmer days!  Afterall, the summer is almost here

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