Nov 01, 2020Chris LaBranche

*The ripe but vibrant black fruit is really a delightful pairing with savory duck and scallion pancakes. 

Serves 8 


For the Scallion Pancakes

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cups chopped scallions
  •  Vegetable oil, preferably grapeseed, for frying

For the Roasted Duck

  • 2 Duck Breasts
  • Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder

For Serving

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and julienned
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce


  1. Make the pancakes: Mix the flour and salt in a food processor. Boil 1 cup water. With the machine running, slowly pour the water in through the feed tube. Process briefly to form a smooth dough. Remove from the processor to a lightly floured work surface. Knead briefly. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
  2. Divide dough in 8 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a thin 10-inch round. Brush each round with sesame oil and scatter with scallions. Roll up each round into a tight cylinder, then coil each cylinder around like a bun. Slightly flatten each bun, then roll each into a round pancake about 6 inches in diameter. Set aside, covered with a towel.
  3. Score the skin of the duck breasts being careful not to cut through to the skin, creating a diamond hatch pattern. Pat dry and season the breasts on all sides with salt and five-spice powder. Place the duck breasts skin-side down in a large cast iron skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook on the first side for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the skin is very dark golden-brown. Flip the breasts and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until they reach 135°F for medium-rare.
  4. Remove the duck breasts to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes tented with foil. Meanwhile, finish the pancakes.
  5. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a small skillet on medium. Fry the pancakes one at a time, turning, until lightly browned a minute or so per side, adding more oil as needed. Stack cooked pancakes and wrap them in foil.
  6. Slice the duck breasts on the diagonal and add to a platter. Stack the pancakes to one side of the platter. Pile cucumber slivers in a mound on the platter, and serve with hoisin sauce.

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