Recipe: Nyonya Braised Duck

Nyonya Braised Duck (Itek Sio)

By Margarita Lee

Margarita Lee

For the duck meat: 

  • 4 Duck legs (thigh included)
  • 3 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns

Ingredients A:

  • 2 tbsp Tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp chopped Gula Melaka
  • 1 tbsp Dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Oyster sauce 

Ingredients B: 

  • 1 bulb of Garlic, chopped finely 
  • 6 Shallots, chopped finely 
  • 1 Cinnamon stick 
  • 4 whole Cloves 
  • 2 pcs Star anise 

Ingredients C:

  • 400ml Water 
  • Salt and sugar to taste
Photo by Margarita Lee


  1. Wash the duck and pat dry. Cut through the joint to separate the leg and the thigh.
  2. Dry roast the coriander seeds and peppercorns in a pan for about five minutes until golden and fragrant. Then, ground the herbs into a powder using a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle – this is the spice powder.
  3. Rub the duck with Ingredients A and the spice powder. Refrigerate and allow the duck to marinate overnight. 
  4. In a non-stick pan, fry the duck pieces skin side down to render the fat. Then, fry the other sides until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, sauté́ Ingredients B until aromatic.
  6. Add in the duck pieces, then stir and coat the duck with the paste. Keep stirring for one minute, add 400mL of water and bring to a boil. Following this, cover the pan with a lid and turn down the heat to low and simmer. 
  7. Braise the duck for around 40 minutes or until tender. Remember to stir every 10-15 minutes. 
  8. When the duck is tender and cooked, switch the heat to high, then keep stirring until the sauce has thickened and reduced.
  9. Season with salt and sugar to taste. 
  10. Garnish with coriander before serving.


Check out more of Margarita’s recipes on her FB @ Umummy Food


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