Hoisin Duck Rolls

I realise I haven’t been very consistent lately with posting new recipes. I recently started a new job which is going great but means I’m quite busy at the moment. It also means that I am in front of a computer screen all day so, while I am cooking and experimenting a lot, I’m not too keen on writing up blog posts.

However, I was inspired after a recent girls weekend in Dublin. We ate in Saba, which is one of my favourites, and we got starters to share. The highlight for me was the Hoisin Duck Rolls and I realised it’s been a while since I made some myself. So I played around with some recipes and this is my take on Saba’s fabulous rolls.

Useful tips & links:

  • Unlike Saba’s rolls, I use the duck leg meat for these. It is easier to cook and stays very moist. To make it even easier, you can buy pre cooked confit duck legs and just shred the meat from these.
  • I buy the duck pancakes in the freezer section of Jia Jia in Cork, they are so helpful there. If you cannot find duck pancakes they are surprisingly easy to make. When I make them myself I use this recipe from China Sichuan Food.
  • These rolls are generally served at room temperature so the elements can all be prepared in advance.
  • The recipe for the hoisin dipping sauce makes more than you will need here, store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
  • For another tasty recipe using duck legs, have a look at my Crispy Duck and Watermelon Salad.
  • For an alternative duck recipe have a look at Peter’s Roast Duck with Potato and Fennel on Kinneagh Kitchen.

Hoisin Duck Rolls

Serves 2-3


  • 2 duck legs
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ a teaspoon of Chinese five spice
  • 200ml of Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing rice wine
  • A 5cm piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • A small piece of cucumber, julienned
  • 2-3 spring onions, julienned
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • 6-8 Chinese or duck pancakes


  • Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/ gas mark 4.
  • Remove any excess skin or fat from the duck legs and score the skin. Season with salt, pepper and the Chinese five spice. Place the legs on a rack and put the rack on a baking tray. Roast for approximately 1½ hours or until the skin is crispy and the meat can be easily pulled away from the bone. You can reserve the duck fat that has collected on the baking tray for roasting potatoes.
  • Using 2 forks pull the meat away from the bone and shred the meat and skin. Set to one side.
  • Make the dipping sauce by putting the hoisin, oyster sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, ginger, garlic, honey, soy sauce and water into a small pan and heat gently until the sauce has reduced and thickened a bit. Add the sesame oil, then taste and see if it needs seasoning. When you are happy with it remove from the heat.
  • Meanwhile, prep the cucumber, onions and lettuce by cutting them julienne style or finely shredding them.
  • When you are ready to serve the Hoisin Duck Rolls, heat the shredded duck meat in a non-stick frying pan until warm and the skin is crispy. Stir through 4 tablespoons of the hoisin dipping sauce and taste for seasoning.
  • To cook the pancakes, stack 2 together and brush a little oil in a frying pan. Heat the pancakes gently until it starts to turn golden, then flip and lightly brown the other side. This way you are really only cooking one side of each pancake to keep them soft.
  • Remove from the pan and separate the 2 pancakes, they should still be soft and pliable. Keep warm under a tea towel while you heat the rest.
  • You can serve the pancakes assembled as per the skewers shown or place everything on the table for people to assemble to their own liking. Don’t forget extra sauce for dipping and the toasted seeds.

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