Tuesday, 24 January 2012


Chinese five spice marinade

At the weekend I bought a duck.

Not great for Teen Vegetarian I know, but, I had visions of a French inspired feast with a little lentil number for Teen V.

However, I went to see The Artist, which is such a fabulous film, 

and got a bit sidetracked, so ran out of time for a proper family roast on Sunday. More of Roasts, which I also love another time....

Back to this week.

Yesterday. Monday. Chinese New Year.

Just the mention of Chinese New Year was enough to get my taste buds going. All I could think of for the whole morning was crispy roast duck. 

Fatal. So, I had a change of plan. Abandoned France and went off on a Chinese tack.

After a long search for fool proof crispy duck recipes on some of my favourite blogs- including

Which, by the way, is great for showing technical step by step suggestions on how to prepare food. I found an easy guide for roasting a large duck.

As mine was small bird I kept it really simple and basically scored the duck with a diamond pattern on its top and put it in the oven at 200 degrees.

 Because of its size it only needed one and half hours.

I cooked it top up for 30 minutes, then, turned it over for the next 30 minutes and turned it top up again for the final 30 mins. For the final stage I basted it with my spicy honey mixture making it smell delicious.

  Teen Vegetarian was totally taken with the spicy aromas filling the kitchen so we decided to cook some quorn pieces in the same sauce and she was very happy.

Normally I steer clear of quorn and meat substitutes as I don’t like processed foods and rarely buy a ready meal.

Why be a vegetarian and opt for a cleaner living if you are going to eat more processed stuff???

When Teen V became a vegetarian a year ago we were very busy and after a while ended up buying quite a bit of this type of food. 

It seemed more than a little ironic that she had made a choice not to eat meat, and yet was eating more processed food than we were.

 Umm not good!

Luckily it has all changed now. With a little more time and better planning I have managed to move away from this and now just use it occasionally.

Anyway, I thought I would give you the recipe for the delicious easy marinade/sauce as it was so versatile.

I put it on the duck as marinade and then drizzled it all over the carved duck before I served it and added some to the cooking quorn. 

Some of the family even dunked their spring rolls in it.


3 tsp Runny honey
1 tsp Black treacle
3tsp Chinese five spice
3tsp Soy sauce or a little more to suit your taste buds

The quorn was fried in a little sunflower oil with a sliced clove of garlic for a few minutes. Half a chopped beef tomato was then added and a teaspoon or two of the marinade. It only took a few minutes to cook and was pronounced delicious!


We served our duck and quorn dishes with stir fried batons of courgette, carrots and bean sprouts with slivers of fresh ginger.

Happy Chinese New Year!

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