Does this combination sound familiar to you? In fact, the dish of duck with leeks is the inspiration for the Pokemon Farfetch’d! Ok, it’s more likely from an old Japanese proverb Kamo ga negi wo shotte kuru, which means “A duck approaches, carrying a leek on its back.” But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a delicious dish using both duck and leeks!
This recipe is clearly Japanese inspired, but as there is no official uniform duck with leeks recipe, this is just my interpretation. The duck is cooked in the standard pan then oven method, but it would also be phenomenal in a yakitori style on a josper like tsukune.
Is Duck With Leeks A Japanese Dish?
While the saying Kamo ga negi wo shotte kuru is of course Japanese, there is not an accepted uniform representation of this dish. Some people make duck with leeks in a soup form, others as a filling for gyoza, and others still on a grill or BBQ. The main idea is that it is fortunate the duck is coming to you with a complementary flavor – how lucky!
How To Cook Duck With Leeks
This recipe is fairly simple, with only a few ingredients. The only ingredient not pictured above is a bit of water, which you will need to dilute both the honey and the soy sauce mix. If you don’t know how to cook a duck breast, not to worry. It is actually extremely fun and easy.
1 Duck Breast – Grade A, Skin On. You definitely want to get a high quality duck breast for this recipe as the skin should crisp up and release all the delicious fat into the pan. This recipe is for one serving, but it is easy to scale up by just increasing the amount of ingredients proportionally.
2 Leeks – there are so many different types of leeks, especially in Japan, but for the sake of simplicity just use ones with a lot of ‘white’ in their color.
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Mirin
1 tsp Sesame Oil
3 tbsp Water – to mix with the soy sauce mix for dilution, otherwise the sauce will be far too salty.
1 tbsp Honey – plus another tbsp of water to thin it out for easy brushing.
To start making duck with leeks you will first need to score your duck breast. Just make a cross-hatch pattern with a very sharp knife through the skin, but do not cut into the actual meat. This will help the fat render out in the pan.
Place the duck breast skin side down in a cold pan. Turn the heat on low, and slowly raise it as more fat begins to render out. On my cooktop this process takes around 7 minutes from cold to fully crisp and rendered. But the duck isn’t fully cooked yet – so while it is cooking pre-heat your oven to 180C or 350F.
Slice your leeks lengthways. In a small bowl combine the honey and water. After the duck skin is perfectly crisped, flip the duck, brush the honey on the cut side of the leeks and put them cut side down directly into the duck fat coated pan. Immediately put the pan into the oven around the middle shelf. Let the duck sit in the oven for 6 minutes.
While the duck is in the oven you can quickly make the sauce. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, and water to a bowl and mix. Thinly slice some more leek and add that as well. Give everything a mix.
When the duck is done remove it from the pan to a cutting board. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Also remove the leeks gently but you can plate them right away. Pour the sauce directly in the hot pan back on medium-high heat with residual melted fat. Stir everything together for about 2 minutes then lower heat to the lowest setting. Let the leek simmer in the sauce for another 2-3 minutes then turn off the heat.
Slice the duck breast skin side down to preserve structure, then fan it out on the plate with the leeks. Spoon over the simmered leek soy sauce and enjoy!
Test the sauce before spooning it over the duck. If you find the leek soy sauce mix too salty then dilute it even more with a bit of water. Also, you do not need to spoon over all of the sauce. I find spooning over the leeks alone drags enough sauce over with them to fully flavor the entire dish.
If you have what seems like an excessive amount of fat as you render the skin feel free to pour some of it into a jar. I love love love cooking with duck fat so I always save it. It can be used for things like roast potatoes, confit peppers, or even to make an experimental duck fat washed bourbon for cocktails!
Duck With Leeks カモネギ
- 1 Pan
- 1 Oven
- 1 Pastry Brush | optional
- 1 Duck Breast Grade A Skin On. You definitely want to get a high quality duck breast for this recipe as the skin should crisp up and release all the delicious fat into the pan. This recipe is for one serving, but it is easy to scale up by just increasing the amount of ingredients proportionally.
- 2 Leeks there are so many different types of leeks especially in Japan, but for the sake of simplicity just use ones with a lot of 'white' in their color.
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp Mirin
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 3 tbsp Water to mix with the soy sauce mix for dilution otherwise the sauce will be far too salty.
- 1 tbsp Honey plus another tbsp of water to thin it out for easy brushing.
- Score the duck breast skin in a cross hatch pattern with a sharp knife. Do not cut into the muscle, just stop once you get to the fat. Preheat your oven to 180C or 350F.
- Place your duck skin side down in a cold pan. Turn the heat on the lowest setting. As the duck fat renders out slowly turn up the heat over a period of time until you get a fully crisp duck skin. While the fat is rendering, split your leeks lengthwise. Mix the honey with water and brush the mix on the cut side of the leek. When the duck fat is rendered and the skin is crispy flip the duck and place the leeks cut side down directly into the pan. Place the pan in the oven for 6 minutes.
- While the duck is in the oven, mix together the soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, and water. Also thinly slice a bit of leek and add that as well. Mix everything together.
- When the duck is done in the oven remove the pan, place the duck on a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Carefully move the leeks to your serving dish and plate accordingly.
- Place the hot pan on medium-high heat and pour in the leek soy sauce mix. Stir everything and let come to a simmer for about 2 minutes. Then lower the heat to the lowest setting for another 3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Slice the duck skin side down to preserve composure, then flip and fan it out on your serving dish. Spoon over the simmered leeks, allowing them to drag along some sauce with them. I don't add all the sauce as it can be overpowering, but by bringing just the leeks they bring enough sauce with them for the entire dish. Enjoy!
Duck With Leeks
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