Sous Vide Duck With Mango Chilli Sauce – The Market Gets What It Will Bear.

Duck with mango sauce (8 of 9)I’m a sucker for fruit. I love the taste that makes me feel so alive and that feeling of fresh fruit juice, dribbling through my unkempt beard. One of my absolute favourites is mango. Living here in Ireland, I don’t get that feeling too often as we tend to get a pretty poor substitute for the real thing. The supermarkets conspire with international fruit companies to supply what is oft referred to as ‘market appropriate produce’ to different countries. They also charge ‘what the market will bear’ when setting prices. Hence, we in Ireland end up with mangos that would be more use in a civil disturbance than they are as a fresh fruit. I believe that we overpay for the privilege too. 

Yet, I still love the taste of mango. I also love duck. So, I decided to prepare a duck with mango and chilli sauce. Thankfully, the rubber bullet-like mangos sold here can be sliced and cooked to make a half decent sauce.

Duck with mango sauce (1 of 9)

I kept the mangos in the shade for fear they might ripen…


  • 6 duck breasts
  • 4 rock hard “ready to eat” mangos from your local supermarket
  • 2 red chillies
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass
  • Juice of two limes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Udon (or similar) noodles

Sharpen a knife and cut through duck skin as shown. Don’t cut through the flesh.

Duck with mango sauce (2 of 9)

The duck skin will render quickly in the pan, after it has been cooked sous vide.

Season the duck generously with salt and black pepper.

Duck with mango sauce (3 of 9)

The seasoning will add a lovely taste to the skin (and the meat).

Vacuum seal the duck breasts and cook sous vide at  54C for 2 hours.

Duck with mango sauce (5 of 9)

I wish I could afford a chamber vacuum. The vacuum can squash stuff.

While the duck is cooking, sharpen a big knife and attack the leather like mango fruit. Get the flesh away from the skin as best you can and remove the large stone. Discard the stone and skin.

Duck with mango sauce (6 of 9)

The different colour of fruit is from different mangos – some very hard, some not so.

Add the juice of the lime. Bash the lemongrass and add whole. Slice the chillies and add them too. If you like heat, leave the seeds in.

Duck with mango sauce (7 of 9)

Plenty of chilli heat to balance the sweetness of the mango.

Heat the mango bullet sauce over a medium heat until the fruit breaks down and the flavours meld. When the duck is cooked, heat a cast iron pan to medium hot. Place the duck skin side down on the pan and leave for about three minutes. The skin will render quickly. Turn the duck and brown quickly on the flesh side. Remove from the heat and slice along the lines of the incisions in the flesh. Serve with plenty of the delicious mango sauce.

Duck with mango sauce (9 of 9)

I like a lot of mango sauce. You will too.

I suppose I have the supermarkets to thank for this delicious recipe. They charge what we will bear. I don’t know what others do with the cricket ball-like fruit. We don’t play a lot of cricket in Ireland. However, as long as there are duck available, I’ll bear with the quality and pricing to make this lovely sauce.

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  • I haven’t had mango for a while, but I do remember watching enormous flying foxes eating them off the trees, at night in Townsville Australia. It was quite a sight and they conveniently knocked a lot of fruit of the branches for us. Great looking duck 🙂

      • Tell him to watch out for the predators 😉

  • Gotta agree. Love mango. Beautiful way to use the fruit with some Asian inspiration along with a great protein like duck.

  • Oh God. I might actually die unless I can eat this. I shouldn’t be surprised, because ducks are the only animals which make me feel hungry while they’re still alive.

  • Mangoes here are often hit-or-miss, as in if someone tries to hit you, you hope they miss. I keep imagining this sauce over some homemade vanilla ice cream and pound or sponge cake.

  • The mango situation in Ireland seems quite dire. It’s good you found a way to circumvent the mess with this lovely sauce!

  • You can eat mango?!! I’ve been using mine as a paperweight 😉 I just love duck especially with a good fruit accompaniment. This looks fantastic as always Conor.

  • I shudder to think how long those babies had been sitting in cold storage… it’s not mango season anywhere. Will your recipe work with proper ripe mangos, do you think, or do I need to start with bullets? Only when the trees in my back yard start dropping fruit, I’ll be needing something to do with them quickly. They don’t keep if you don’t have cold storage…
    Sorry, that was revenge for your access to venison, cherries, decent apples, all that stuff you need a cool climate for!

      • Then you can go home with a cooler full of barramundi, coral trout, mangoes, custard apples, pineapples, tiger prawns, home grown lemongrass and ginger….

  • Lovely recipe and I do wish I could send you a basketful of our super-juicy mangoes in season: you’d be standing bending over the kitchen sink trying to eat those somewhat ‘neatly’. One thought: I can see why you chose udon noodles to go with an Asian themed dish, . . . now I have used udon and my favourite [buckwheat] soba and hokkien and rice vermicelli for four decades at least 2-3 times a week . . . udon is used in soups, stirfries, Japanese curries et al and is really too bland to use plain as a side . . . *smile* your fusion, just suggestin’ . . .

  • When we returned from a nearly day-long ‘running-errand-and-big-grocery-shopping-trip’ yesterday and at last I was able to log into my mails I had to smile 🙂 when I read your bit about mangoes and the various comments :). I had been sampling delicious mangoes in one of my favourite supermarkets – yes, the season is starting here. The trees, nearly every titchy garden even had a mango tree and children (and often adults, too) are watching the growing fruit for the harvest. Why is it that fruit always tastes better having been plucked from someone else’s garden??? 🙂 Already the side-street-vendors have appeared selling fruit (mangoes, oranges, all sorts of melons, very floury apples etc) literally off the back of their little lorry for pennies!!! So for now I am sending a virtual! box of that sweet fruit over the airwaves to my friends, especially to you, Conor in Ireland and MD in London. Enjoy – guten Appetit 🙂 🙂

  • I count my blessings wherever I am, well, where humanly possible. From time to time, there was a slip of the tongue😬. Mango, avocado etc are items we take for granted.

    Do you not get decent Indian mangoes in the summer?

  • This looks and sounds very good Conor. I can get decent mangoes now that we live in Florida but the duck breasts are hard to find. I will have to search them out now that we have a sous vide immersion circulator. Was the duck on the rare side when it was sliced…that is the way we like it?

      • And I you the duck. 😀

    • Hi Karen- you could also mail order from these guys- I use to get duck breasts and confit from them for my cafe. wt

      • Hi Wendy, I used to buy Dartagnan products from a market that I shopped at in Massachusetts…they are great. Unfortunately, I’ve been having to order many things online since we moved to Florida. 😀

  • I grew up in an island where there are millions of mango trees. Millions of varieties. And people over there are sick ‘n tired of mangoes! Those are dirt cheap too. Boss-man, allow me to take you to Bangladesh. I’ll buy you a plane-load-of mangoes, I swear. How my poor heart aches seeing you mourning over good quality mangoes 🙁

    I can not bear your pain anymore! Either you come to Bangladesh or I’ll go to Ireland with mangoes. There’s no goddamn WALL between these two borders, is there?!

  • Yes I tried this dish tonight. I broke a habit of a lifetime and brought some “ready to eat” mangoes. I normally never buy them until first the Indian and then the Pakistani mangoes arrive to our local Asian greengrocers. My uncle used to play a lot of cricket in the Dublin area but as a wicket keeper he would have had trouble with these. More like cannon balls. But your sauce is really delicious. Also the duck breasts. I have had trouble with these in the past. This is obviously the ideal temperature. Many thanks.

  • Absolutely stunning images Conor. Though I do have to say – unkempt beard! What beard, there’s none in the profile pic. Having said that I’ve chopped my hair and it will be some time before the profile pic gets an update (have to find the right lighting), so you’re forgiven 🙂

  • Hi Conor, I am not as big a fan of meat with fruit as you are, but I’m partial to duck with fruit. 54C is a good temperature to sous-vide duck if you’re going to sear it afterwards. I usually sear before; this takes away some of the crispiness of the skin but it prevents me from overcooking the meat when searing afterwards. The mangos here are like what you get and so I am a bit hesitant to add lime juice and not add something sweet (honey perhaps) to balance out the acidity from both the unripe mangos and the limes. Perhaps one could toss the noodles in the duck fat that will be left behind after searing? 🙂

  • I favor duck breast and fruit sauce/glaze myself. Mango & chile sounds good. And your site looks great by the way. Congrats! I’m in the process of researching a new theme and upgrading myself. It’s a little daunting but fun. wt

      • Yikes- I feel the same but hadn’t considered anything but exporting. I’ll keep researching. Thx

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