Foodies blog


Duck bonbons with spiced plum sauce and quick pickled blackberries  

Makes roughly 6 bonbons


For the bonbons

2 duck legs

1 shallot

1 tsp Chinese five spice

1 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tbsp spiced plum sauce

2 whole eggs

5 slices stale white bread

3 tbsp plain flour

Salt and pepper


For the spiced plum sauce

6 ripe red plums, de-stoned and diced

1 red onion

30g caster sugar

1 inch piece fresh ginger

1 tsp Chinese five spice

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

1 small glass red wine

1 small knob butter


For the pickled blackberries

15 blackberries

75ml warm water

100ml red wine vinegar

50ml caster sugar

Pea shoots, to garnish


To make the sauce, remove the skin from the red onion, top and tail and chop into a fine dice. Add to the pan with the diced plums. Heat over a medium heat to soften slightly. Grate the ginger into the pan using a microplane, followed by the wine, sugar, star anise and cinnamon stick.


Add enough water to come roughly ¾ of the way up the plum mixture.Cook the mixture down for roughly 20-30 minutes, topping up with more water if needed. Once completely softened and slightly sticky, remove the cinnamon stick and star anise and pour into a blender. Blitz until very smooth and add a small knob of butter. Season to taste and set aside.


For the blackberries, combine the water, vinegar and sugar. Tip the blackberries into a small bowl and pour the pickling liquor over the top. Cover with cling film and store in the fridge until you are ready to plate.


To make the bonbons, place the duck legs into a pressure cooker and cover with water. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook for around 15-20 minutes until the meat falls off the bone. Once the pressure cooker has cooled, remove the legs and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, peel the shallot and dice as finely as possible. Fry on a medium heat until softened and translucent but not coloured and add the five spice, tamarind and plum sauce. Remove from the heat.


Peel the skin from the duck legs and discard, then shred the meat. Pile the meat into the centre of a chopping board and chop through with a large sharp knife so the pieces are very small. In a mixing bowl, combine the duck meat with the shallot mixture and season to taste. Divide into six even portions and roll into smooth balls. Place the balls into the fridge to firm up.


Meanwhile, add the bread to a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Tip into a bowl. Crack the two eggs into a separate bowl and whisk slightly. Add the flour to a third bowl and season. In turn, coat each bonbon in flour, followed by beaten egg and then breadcrumbs. Heat a deep fat fryer to 180 °C and fry the bonbons for 3-4 minutes until the outside is crisp and golden.


To plate, spoon three small dots of the plum sauce onto the plate and top with a bonbon on each, topped with another small dot of sauce. Remove 2-3 blackberries from the pickling liquor, half lengthways and dot on the plate. Dress with a small handful of pea shoots and enjoy!



Next Event

ALEXANDRA PALACE  26 August -28 August 2017


Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest food festival returns to Alexandra Palace over the bank holiday weekend of 26th, 27th & 28th August

Watch New Judge of The Big Family Showdown Rosemary Shrager, Michelin starred chef at Benares Atul Kochhar, Michelin starred Chef and Great British Menu Winner Adam Simmonds, Great British Menu Winner 2017 at Oklava Selin Kiazim & Veneta’s Head Chef Jamie Thicket cooking their signature recipes in the Aga Rangemaster Chefs Theatre with MasterChef Finalists Steve Kielty, Lorna Robertson, Jack Lucas, Juanita Hennessey, Emma Spitzer & Tony Rodd.

Feast in the Street Food Avenue; learn to bake in the Cake and Bake Theatre; enjoy free hourly yoga and meditation in the Healthy Living Zone; enjoy afternoon tea in the Vintage Tea Tent; taste wine, champagne and craft beer in the Drinks Theatre; buy from local producers in the Artisan Market; kids enjoy the Childrens Cookery Theatre; live music on the Success Express Music Stage; enter the Chilli Eating Competition; refreshing cocktails from the Bar Bus, Pimms Teapot & The Evan Williams Bourbon Airstream and have a fun day out in the VIP experience.

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