Szechuan Duck Gua Bao with Flowerdale Farm Pickled Veg and Sesame Caramel

Szechuan Duck Gua Bao with Flowerdale Farm Pickled Veg and Sesame Caramel

Created by Alan Harding, Head Chef and Owner, Grant St Grocer


40 Minutes



For 4 people

  • 0.25 cup(s) Rock Salt (course)
  • 2 teaspoon(s) Szechuan Pepper (whole)
  • 4 Star Anise
  • 2 Alesbury Cross Duck Breast
  • 1 Punnet Flowerdale Farm Baby Corn
  • 1 Bunch Flowerdale Farm Baby Coloured Carrots
  • 250 mL Rice Vinegar
  • 15 grams Salt
  • 250 grams Sugar (for pickled veg)
  • 80 grams Sriracha Sauce (to taste)
  • 100 grams Sugar (for Sesame Caramel)
  • 30 grams Sesame Seeds
  • 30 mL Fish Sauce
  • 2 Limes (juiced)
  • 0.5 Punnet Flowerdale Farm Popcorn Shoots
  • 1 cup(s) Flowerdale Farm Beanshoots
  • 0.5 Pot Flowerdale Farm Microgreen Red Shiso
  • 0.5 Punnet Flowerdale Farm Blood Sorrel Foliette
  • 8 Gua Bao (Buns) - 2 per serve

Adjust Quantity


  1. Season Duck: Grind the star anise and Szechuan pepper in spice grinder, mix with rock salt and put in a zip lock bag with the duck breast. Alternatively, seal in a food saver vacuum bag. Marinate for 6 to 8 hours or up to 24 hours. To cook: Take duck out of bag and place in a bamboo steamer with baking paper underneath. Tip the salt and spice mix into a wok and top up with water. Bring to the boil. Place bamboo steamer over the wok and steam duck for 30 to 35 min, allow to rest for 10 min after steaming.
  2. Pickled Veg: Bring to the boil 15g salt, 250g sugar and 250ml rice vinegar. Add sriracha to taste and simmer for 5 min. Cut baby corn into thirds and thinly slice baby carrots, put these in a non corrosive container and pour hot pickle mix on top. Allow to cool and then chill in fridge. Note: This can be made a couple of days in advance.
  3. Sesame Caramel: Measure 100g sugar into a non stick pan and heat to a light caramel, quickly add the sesame seeds to toast for 10 to 15 seconds. Carefully add the lime juice and fish sauce, this will usually harden the caramel, leave it on a very low heat and simmer till the caramel melts back into the dressing. If this becomes to thick when it cools just add a little boiled water till the consistency suits. Store in a mason jar somewhere warm in the kitchen until you are ready to serve, refrigerate when not in use.
  4. Salad: Combine 1/2 a cup of the prepared picked veg with popcorn shoots, bean shoots, microgreen shiso and blood sorrel foliette. Use a little of the pickle syrup as the dressing.
  5. To Serve: When ready to serve, put the Gua Bao (Buns) in the steamer and warm for a couple of minutes, if this is done not long after the duck comes out there is no need to reheat the duck. Take out the buns and open them up, put on the pickled veg salad, slice the duck, cutting across the grain, lay the duck on top of the salad, dress with the sesame caramel and close bun, drizzle a little more of the caramel on and around buns and garnish with additional Flowerdale Farm microgreens, shoots and sprouts.
  6. Note: this recipe can use either charcoal or plain Gua Bao (Buns)