sue_picIf you live in South Africa, there is probably no need for an introduction here, as this lovely face has graced our TV screens and computer screens (KitchenCoZa) for quite some time now.  Since coming 2nd on Master Chef South Africa season 2, her career has gone from strength to strength, and she is now the face of quite a few local brands, such as Natural Herbs & Spices.  She has kindly given me one of her favourite, secret recipes to share, which looks mighty tasty (which she still has not cooked for me – #justsaying) 😉


Pan seared duck breast with a Thai style sauce

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red chilli chopped (deseed for less heat intensity)
  • 4 baby spring onions finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 baby green cabbage, finely sliced
  • ½ baby red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh root ginger
  • 1 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon grass
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 duck breasts
  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • Salt and white pepper to season

Thai style sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ red chilli chopped
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon grass
  • 1 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar


  • Heat the oil in a wok-style pan and add the chilli. After a minute add the spring onion, followed by the cabbage. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and lemon grass, and stir to combine. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the cabbage as softened. Add the soy sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary
  • To make the sauce, heat the sesame oil over medium heat in a saucepan, then add the chilli, ginger, lemon grass and garlic. Immediately add the soy sauce and allow for the aromatics to infuse for a minute. Add the stock, orange juice and brown sugar and give it a stir. Allow the mixture to simmer very slowly until reduced by a third.
  • For the duck score the skin vertically, making sure that you don’t cut into the flesh. Heat a heavy based pan until hot and place the duck skin-side down in the pan. Season the flesh side. Cook for 1 ½ minutes , then turn and cook the other side for the same amount of time. Repeat this process one more time and allow for an additional minute skin side down to ensure that the fat has rendered and is crisp. This will give you a total cooking time of 7 minutes. Transfer to a warm plate and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes

To serve, slice the duck breast along the vertical score lines in the skin. Place demoulded rice mounds next to the cabbage and duck and drizzle with the sauce, sprinkle with the extra chopped spring onion and serve immediately.