• Roast duck and rice paper rolls (Benito Martin)

These are lovely little rolls, easily portable and ideal for a sunny summer’s picnic lunch. They are fresh, light and juicy enough that they need no dipping in any extra sauce. The sweet lychee is a perfect foil for the rich roast duck flavour.




Skill level

Average: 4.3 (8 votes)


  • 40 ml light soy sauce
  • 40 ml cider vinegar
  • 60 ml robust extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • white pepper
  • ½ roast duck
  • 2 cups finely shredded Chinese cabbage (wom bok)
  • 5 medium-sized green onions, julienned
  • 200 g peeled and seeded lychees, juice reserved (about 28 large lychees)
  • 2 long red chillies, seeds removed, julienned
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 14 round large dried rice paper sheets

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.


In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, oils, any stray lychee juice and white pepper. Set aside. 

If your duck hasn’t yet made it to a fridge, it should be good to use immediately. If, however, it’s not at room temperature, pop it on a tray, skin-side up, and place it in a preheated 160C oven for 10 minutes to give it a chance to warm through - this will also make the skin nice and crispy. 

Shred your duck into large chunks about 5 cm in length. Make sure to keep and shred the skin too. 

To make your rolls, make sure you have a nice clean bench and all your ingredients in separate bowls and within easy reach. You will also need a bowl of cold water to soften the rice paper in. (You can soak the sheets in warm water but I find they become harder to manage). 

Take a sheet of the rice paper and submerge it into the water for a minute until it softens, you want to leave it until it’s malleable but left too long it will become delicate and will tear easily. Lift it out, give it a little shake to remove excess water and then place it down on the bench in front of you. 

Place a small mound of the cabbage on the bottom third of the round, spreading it out so it covers about 3 cm x 8 cm, making sure to leave a clean edge of rice paper at the bottom. Add some of the green onion, then some duck and then some lychee. Spoon over a little of the dressing before topping with a little chilli and a few mint leaves. 

Fold the bottom bit up over the filling and then fold in the sides as tightly as you can. Roll up the rest of the roll, maintaining a firm tautness. 

Transfer to a serving platter. 

Repeat with the remaining ingredients. If you aren’t going to serve your rolls immediately, they can sit out, covered with a damp cloth for a few hours. If you are going to pack them away for your picnic, make sure you place them in between sheets of baking paper so they don’t all stick together.


Cook’s tips

• You will probably need to make a trip to Chinatown for this recipe. Ingredients will be easy to find there. Buy a half roast duck but ask them not to cut it so it’s easier for you to shred.

• When I shred flesh from a roast duck, I keep the bones to make a quick light stock. 


Photography by Benito Martin. Food styling by O Tama Carey. Prop styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.


This recipe is part of The seasonal cook: Lychee column. View previous The seasonal cook columns and recipes.


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