This delicious duck salad is a re-creation of a dish sampled over a decade ago at the Pan Asian restaurant Eight over Eight on the King’s Road, Chelsea. It was one of those dishes which, like great novels, once consumed can never be forgotten.

Prepare to be transported to the Far East as the amalgamation of flavours is unbelievably delicious. The soft duck, fresh watermelon and crunchy cashew combo is nothing short of ingenious. To be honest, the sauce has required a bit of guesswork on our part but we are confident that the asian flavours chosen enhance the utter yumminess of this dish.

This is actually a fairly simple salad to prepare  as it can all be done in advance so it is also perfect for entertaining.

What You Need


  • 2 x duck breasts
  • Five-Spice mix (find in spice rack at supermarket)
  • 1/2 a smallish watermelon, cut into chucks
  • I large handful of toasted Cashews (or you can toast them yourself)
  • 3 spring onions, chopped on the diagonal
  • Large handful of coriander chopped


  • 4 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 1 dash of seasame oil
  • 1 dash of fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime  – squeezed and grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of caster sugar

Five spice powder is a traditional spice mix combining all the essential seasonings used for Chinese cooking including star anise, Schezuen peppercorns, fennel, cinnamon and cloves. It offers that wonderful asian combination of sweet, sour and savoury. You can make your own but you know us, we are all about offering short cuts, so you can buy it here.

Compiling the Duck Salad

  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Score the skin of the duck breasts with 5 large diagonal cuts.
  3. Rub the five-spice mix over the breasts and then pop them in a medium-hot frying pan, skin down for approx 8-10 minutes. You do not need to add any extra any oil when cooking duck as the skin will provide any fat you need.
  4. When the skin is medium brown and the duck fat has rendered down remove them from the pan. Top tip: save the duck fat for future roast potatoes.
  5. Turn the duck breasts skin side up and pop them in your pre-heated oven for approx 10 minutes.
  6. If toasting the cashews, toast in the duck pan until they are lightly brown. Remember to watch them constantly as nuts burn very easily.
  7. Chop the watermelon into medium chunks and remove any obvious seeds.
  8. Cut the spring onion on the diagonal and chop the coriander.
  9. Arrange artfully on a plate.
  10. Mix together dressing and drizzle over salad.
  11. You’re welcome!


In deep winter when watermelons are a little harder to come by, you can exchange the melon with mango although this recipe is by far our favoured combination.

If you like this you will like our Beetroot, Feta and Pomegranate Salad.