Aromatic five-spice powder is used extensively in Hong Kong cuisine and is beautiful as a seasoning for fatty duck meat.






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (12 votes)


  • 2 duck breasts
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 150 g dried Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 bunch baby pak choy, trimmed, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp honey mixed with 1 tbsp warm water
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) soy sauce
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time: 10 minutes

  1. Score the skin side of the breast diagonally with a sharp knife. Season both sides with salt, then with five-spice powder. Place the duck breasts, skin-side down in a large cold frying pan over medium heat. Cook for 7 minutes or until the skin is crisp and golden, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep the skin from getting too dark too quickly. Turn and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from the pan and rest for 10 minutes. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of duck fat from the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain and toss with the sesame oil.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and pak choy to the frying pan with the duck fat and toss over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add the noodles, honey mixture, soy sauce and spring onions, toss until heated through and well combined, then remove from heat.
  4. Divide the noodles between 2 shallow bowls. Slice the duck breast, place on top of the noodles and spoon over any remaining sauce from the pan.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.