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Shanghainese Soy-glazed Duck

Chef Lillian Luk grew up in Shanghai with her grandmother as her greatest culinary influence. To her, this recipe is the ultimate dish for Chinese New Year.

Serves 2-3 Total Time 50 mins


  • 1 whole duck, approx. 1.25kg
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce 
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 3 tbsp shaoxing rice wine (or use sake or sherry) 
  • 3 pieces star aniseed
  • 1 piece cassia bark, approx. the size of your little finger (or use a cinnamon stick)

To serve:

  • plain rice 
  • stir fried greens


  1. In a pot that’s just big enough to fit the whole duck, bring some water to the boil with all the seasonings. Add the duck, so it’s just submerged, adding more water if needed (don’t worry if you think you’ve added too much water, as any extra will be boiled down later). 
  2. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over a medium heat, then let it simmer with gentle bubbles for 30 mins, turning the duck upside down once. 
  3. After 30 mins, remove the duck from the pot and set aside on a plate while you make the glaze. Pour the liquid into a wok or shallow pot with a wide opening, then bring to a boil over a high heat, cooking until the sauce starts to thicken and looks shiny (using a pot with a wide opening helps to speed up the reduction). 
  4. Add the duck and scoop the sauce over it, turning the duck a few times for about 10 mins. Take care that the sauce does not burn, otherwise it will taste bitter. Turn down the heat if necessary, but make sure the sauce is bubbling.
  5. Remove the duck and let it cool for 30 mins before you chop it up to serve. Take care not to get the glaze on your hands – it will burn! Reserve the leftover glaze to drizzle over the duck when serving, if you want a stronger flavour. 

Chef’s tip: you can also use any leftover glaze as a dressing for a noodle stir fry.

To make this dish taste even better, try pairing it with this Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateau Changyu.

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