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Perfect sous vide duck breast seasoned with fragrant five-spice with ginger and garlic, then served with a luscious and tangy cherry sauce.

Five-Spice Sous Vide Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce

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  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Sous Vide
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Perfect sous vide duck breast seasoned with fragrant five-spice with ginger and garlic, then served with a luscious and tangy cherry sauce.


  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pounds duck breasts, 4 small ones or 2 large Muscovy duck breasts
  • Kosher salt

For the cherry sauce:

  • 1/3 cup yellow onion or 1 shallot
  • 6 ounces cherries
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup chicken bone broth or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  1. Set up sous vide: Preheat water to 135°F (57°C) or your preferred temperature.
  2. Combine the dry seasonings: In a small bowl, combine five-spice powder, ground ginger, and garlic powder. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Prepare duck breasts: Score the skin side of the breast diagonally with a sharp knife. Season both sides with salt, then sprinkle both sides evenly with the five-spice seasoning mixture. 
  4. Pre-sear the duck: Heat a heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, place the duck breasts in it, skin side down, and let them sear for 1-2 minutes, allowing the fat to render. Flip and sear the other side for 30 seconds. Remove the duck breasts from the skillet and let them cool down for a bit. Pour the duck fat into a small bowl, leaving enough fat to coat the skillet. 
  5. Sous vide the duck breasts: Place the duck breasts in one or two vacuum sealer bags and vacuum seal. Lower the bag(s) in the preheated water bath and make sure the duck is completely submerged. Set the timer for 1-2 hours. (1 hour for smaller breasts and 2 hours for larger ones.) 
  6. Prepare ingredients for the cherry sauce: Finely dice onion or shallot; remove cherry stems, halve, and remove the pits (reserve a few whole cherries for garnishing); set out the rest of the sauce ingredients. 
  7. Make the cherry sauce: Ten minutes before the timer goes off, over medium heat in the same skillet, cook onions until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add Shaoxing wine, coconut aminos, and cherries. Stir a few times and use a potato masher to smash the cherries in the skillet, allowing them to soften and release their juices. Add chicken bone broth, raise the heat, and simmer rapidly until the liquid is reduced by half and a bit syrupy. As the cherries break down and the sauce thickens slightly, add a splash of apple cider vinegar for a hint of acidity to balance out the sweetness. Strain the contents of the skillet into a small bowl. (If you make the sauce early, strain it into a small saucepan to keep warm.) Wipe the skillet with paper towels. 
  8. Sear the duck breasts: Once the timer goes off, remove the duck from the sous vide and cut the bag(s) open. Transfer the duck breasts onto a plate and pat them dry with paper towels. Over medium heat in the same skillet, sear the duck again, skin side down, until the skin is crispy and dark brown, about 1-2 minutes. Flip to sear the other side for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
  9. Serve: Slice the duck breast along the scoring marks. Drizzle with the cherry sauce and serve with a side of green vegetables and mashed sweet potatoes. Garnish with fresh cherries. Enjoy!


Blackberries, blueberries, or blood oranges can be substituted for cherries.


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 335
  • Sugar: 6.2g
  • Sodium: 731.2mg
  • Fat: 9.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.6g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 46.3g
  • Cholesterol: 175.8mg
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