Crispy duck surrounded by sublime ramen noodles, vegetables and a heavy sesame flavour. Jump into a cozy bowl of sesame noodles and lots of tips on how to cook duck breasts.
It’s pouring rain outside, I’m starving and waiting for G to get home, and all I can think about is this Crispy Sesame Duck Ramen. It’s crispy skin, bright and vibrant vegetables, and a umami packed miso-mushroom broth are worthy of the usual ramen eating method of holding your face immediately over the bowl and shovelling it in. Classy, I know.
It’s an any day perfect kind of meal with the comforts of ramen and made special by having duck as the protein (we only eat duck only a couple of times per year). And it’s ramen; the perfect excuse to load up on vegetables, especially now that Spring is officially here.
Ramen is the ultimate kitchen sink dish for me. You can team up the mushroom broth and duck with most vegetables which helps clean out anything that’s been lingering in the produce drawer for too long. The duck is easily substituted by chicken or pork as well. The broth is luscious and has a great balance with the mushroom broth and miso paste.
The miso adds some real depth so I wouldn’t shy away from it. Miso paste also lasts a long time in your fridge, so don’t fret if when you see how big the container is and the fact that you only use 2 tablespoons out of it. Miso is ideal for adding a tablespoons here and there to stews, soups, and braises. It very much enhances the flavours of many recipes.
How to cook duck breast:
The duck needs a bit of time for this recipe as you really want the fat layer under the skin to render down as much as possible. This creates the ultra crispy skin you want on the duck.
To create this crispy skin, your pan needs to be super hot. First things first, heat a large pan to medium-high heat (leaning closer to high). Pans such as cast iron or a non-stick natural pan are best for this type of searing.
Second, ensure the duck skin has some slits cut into the skin and fat (but not cutting meat portion, this should be done with a sharpe knife). Season duck heavily with medium grain kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Place the duck skin down on the hot pan (throw a tiny drop of water onto the pan and if it bubbles and sizzles immediately, the pan is hot enough). Walk away. I repeat, do not touch those tongs and the stove do the work. The skin will eventually brown, crispy, and release its grip from the pan making it easy to flip over.
After flipping let the bottom brown slightly and then remove from the stove and let the duck rest.
To eliminate the chance of salmonella, it is recommended that duck be cooked to an internal temperature of 165° F (same as chicken). That being said, I do prefer my duck to be cooked closed to medium rare or medium at the most.
More healthy and easy ramen recipes:
Crispy duck surrounded by sublime ramen noodles, vegetables and a heavy sesame flavour.
- 400 grams duck breasts, 2 medium sized
- 4 cakes dried ramen noodles
- 3 tsp sesame oil, divided
- 4 cups chicken or mushroom broth
- 2 tbsp miso paste, white or red
- 1/2 lbs (225 gr) mushrooms, such as button, cremini, shimeji, etc.
- 1 lbs (454 gr) asparagus stalks or broccolini, trimmed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, preferably toasted
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- cilantro, sliced thai chilies, crushed peanuts, etc.
Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the top layer of the duck (the skin and fat) in a criss-cross pattern without hitting the meat. Season both sides of the meat with salt and pepper.
Heat a medium sized frying pan / skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tsp sesame oil and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until nicely browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan. Add the duck, skin-side down and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 20-25 minutes until fat has completely rendered and skin is dark brown and crispy. Flip and cook meat side for 3-5 minutes until desired doneness has been reached. Let rest for a few minutes and then slice on an angle.
Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan heat mushroom broth to a boil and whisk in miso paste. Reduce heat to a simmer and keep warm. At the same time, cook ramen noodles as per the package instructions. Drain, toss with 2 tsp of sesame oil and set aside.
In a wide skillet bring salted water to a boil. Add asparagus (or broccolini) and cook until crisp-tender, about 4-6 minutes. Remove and run cold water over to stop cooking. Add carrots to the water and cook for about 5 minutes until crisp-tender.
To assemble place noodles in bowls, top with duck slices, vegetables, and broth. Top with desired garnishes.