Tea-Marinated Duck Lettuce Cups



  • Prep Time


  • Cook Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings


Gail Simmons, judge on BRAVO’s “Top Chef” and Food & Wine magazine contributor



  • 2 cups Lipton Pure Leaf Unsweetened Tea
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 duck breasts, rinsed, patted dry, fat scored gently in a cross-hatch pattern
  • 2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil


  • 1 tablespoon Lipton Pure Leaf Unsweetened Tea
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 6 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks (preferably on a mandolin)
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks (preferably on a mandolin)


  • Butter lettuce leaves
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, lightly packed
  • Sriracha
  • Coarse Salt
  • 2 Limes, quartered


Step 1:

  • Make the marinade: Combine tea, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, black peppercorns, lime zest, and garlic in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place duck breasts in re-sealable bag and pour in tea mixture. Seal well with as little air as possible, making sure duck is completely submerged. Place in large bowl and marinate in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Step 2:

  • Preheat oven to 350o. Remove duck from marinade and lightly dry with paper towels. Allow to come to room temperature. Sprinkle with salt. Discard marinade.

Step 3:

  • Heat large heavy-bottomed skillet or pan with oil to medium hot. Add duck breasts skin side down and cook until skin is golden and rendered, pouring off fat as it accumulates if needed, about 8 minutes. Turn duck breasts over and move pan to oven to roast for about 10 minutes, to medium rare. Set duck aside on cutting board covered with foil to rest. When slightly cooled, slice thinly on diagonal and then cut into strips.

Step 4:

  • Make the salad: In a large bowl, whisk together the tea, soy sauce, lime juice, and sesame oil. Add the radishes, carrots, and cucumbers and toss to evenly coat.

Step 5:

  • Assemble butter lettuce cups: place a small handful of salad in a butter lettuce leaf, add some slices of duck, and top with a sprinkle of scallions, cilantro, and mint. Drizzle with a little Sriracha and season with a small pinch of salt. Serve with lime wedges.


  • Recipe can be made using small flour tortillas instead of lettuce cups if desired. Add a dollop of hoisin sauce to base of tortilla before assembling, for added moisture.