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Tea Smoked Duck Breast 茶香熏鴨

This dish was inspired from my trip to Mao Li in the Hakka Region of Taiwan. It is known for its tenacious people who have mastered cultivating crops in the challenging and mountainous landscape. Tea is one of their best known exports. I have creating this tea smoked duck breast dish using a homemade smoker and using their local black tea to honor their traditions.

- Yu Tsai

by Yu Tsai
Serves  3 to 4
Prep time  20 Min
Cooks in  30 Min
Difficulty  easy
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photo by Yu Tsai


    Duck and Dry Rub Ingredients:

    • 4 Duck breasts, skin on

    Dry Rub:

    • 1 tablespoon 5 spice powder
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon crushed peppercorn

    Massage into duck breasts and allow to set for about 2 hours.

    Needed to Make Homemade Smoker:

    • 1 large wok with a lid
    • 1 round rack or grate fitted for the smoker
    • Aluminum Foil

    Smoker Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup loose leaf black tea
    • 1 cup rice
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
    • 5 crushed star anise
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • dehydrated orange
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  1. To make homemade smoker: Line a large wok with aluminum foil, making sure that there is enough foil at the lip of the wok to create a seal between the wok and the lid. Wrap the inner edge of the lid with foil, so that the foil on the wok and on the lid contact and seal. Create a small round bowl from foil that is about 6 inches (15 cm) across and about 2 inches (5 cm) deep.
  2. Place the bowl filled with the smoker ingredients into the bottom of the wok and place the rack above the bowl. There should be about 2 inches (5 cm) between the top of the bowl and the rack.
  3. Score the skin on the duck breasts and place skin side up on the rack in your smoker.
  4. Cover the smoker and turn heat to high.
  5. Once you begin to see smoke exiting the smoker, lower to medium heat and cook for 15 minutes for medium to well done. Adjust time for your personal meat temperature liking.
  6. Remove breasts from smoker and allow to rest 10 minutes.
  7. Heat oil in a skillet on high heat and fry duck breasts skin side down for 10 minutes.

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • ¾ cup (180 ml) Hoisin sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sweet soy bean sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of honey
  • 3 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 2 inches minced ginger

Instructions for Sauce:

  1. Mix all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat for 7 minutes
  2. Chill in ice bath immediately to lock in the flavor.

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