Grilled Duck Breast With Miso, Ginger and Orange

Grilled Duck Breast With Miso, Ginger and Orange

Miso contributes a sweet, nutty flavor to this tasty marinade for duck, punched up with ginger and orange zest. Substitute duck legs if you wish (they’ll take a bit longer to cook), or use large chicken breasts if duck isn’t available. Here the duck breast is thinly sliced for a summery main-course salad, but keep the flavorful technique in mind for use throughout the year.


  • 4large duck breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4tablespoons red miso
  • 2tablespoons light soy sauce or tamari
  • 1tablespoon sake or mirin
  • 1tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6ounces small green beans, topped and tailed
  • Lettuce leaves, for serving
  • 1large mango, peeled and sliced
  • Watercress sprigs, for garnish (optional)
  • 3tablespoons chopped scallions


  1. Trim duck breasts of extraneous fat (or ask your butcher to trim them) and score the skin. Season very lightly with salt and generously with coarsely ground pepper.
  2. Make the marinade: In a mixing bowl, whisk together miso, soy sauce, sake, orange zest, ginger, garlic, cayenne and sesame oil. Remove 1/4 cup of the marinade and combine it with 2 tablespoons orange juice to make a dressing; set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice to the marinade in the mixing bowl.
  3. Lay duck in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over, making sure meat is well coated. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. If you wish, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before proceeding.
  4. Prepare a bed of medium-hot coals in a grill, or heat a stovetop grill or cast-iron pan to medium hot. Cook duck breasts skin-side down for 8 to 10 minutes, until fat is rendered and skin is nicely colored. (See note.) Turn and cook on the other side for 3 or 4 minutes, until internal temperature registers 125 degrees. Remove from heat and let rest at least 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook green beans for 1 to 2 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain green beans and rinse with cool water; blot dry.
  6. Slice duck crosswise about 1/8-inch thick. Line a platter with lettuce leaves. Place several slices of duck on each leaf, along with a couple of mango slices. Arrange green beans over the top and garnish with watercress, if using. Drizzle reserved dressing over everything, sprinkle with scallions and serve.


  • Keep meat at least 3 inches above coals to prevent scorching, and take care to move meat away from flames if dripping fat ignites. If using stovetop grill or cast-iron pan, regulate heat to keep skin from browning too quickly.

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