In this Indonesian recipe, the duck is stuffed with spinach, for flavour and to prevent the meat from drying out during cooking. It is covered in banana leaves and steamed to hold in all the delicious flavours, then roasted until crispy.






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (10 votes)


  • 2 Aylesbury ducks, dressed (about 1.4 kg each) 
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt 
  • ½ tbsp coarsely ground black pepper 
  • 2 bunches spinach, roughly chopped 
  • 10 bamboo skewers 
  • 12 cloves 
  • 2 large banana leaves 
  • 2 limes, quartered 
  • 4 long red chillies, finely chopped 
  • 4 golden shallots, quartered

Spice mix

  • 50 g fresh turmeric roots 
  • 2 cm piece young ginger 
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only 
  • 4 candlenuts 
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 red Asian shallots 
  • 3 makrut lime leaves, torn 
  • 4 long red chillies 
  • 100 ml vegetable oil

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.


To make the spice mix, use a mortar and pestle or electric blender to crush or blend all ingredients to a coarse paste.

Rub the duck inside and out with the salt and pepper, followed by the spice paste. Stuff the inside cavity of the duck with the spinach.

Using the skewers, seal the stomach cavity, leaving the skewers sticking out of the duck.

Stud the skin of the duck evenly with the cloves.

Run the banana leaves over an open flame to soften them and then wrap the duck completely in the leaves, using the protruding skewers to attach and secure the leaves. Place a large pot over medium heat and fill with 5 cm of water.

Place a metal or bamboo steamer in the pot and insert the duck. Steam, covered, for 1½ hours. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the duck from the steamer, place in a large roasting tray and put in the oven for a further 30 minutes, with the breast of the duck exposed.

When the skin is brown and crisp, remove the duck from the oven and cut into 8 pieces.

Present on a banana leaf, garnished with lime, chopped chilli and quartered golden shallots.