Spicy Szechuan Duck Burgers

Pairs well with:

Pinot Grigio

You won’t need a bouquet of flowers when you share our Pinot Grigio. This crisp wine with floral aromas is a wonderful way to make an entrance.


3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
2 small birds-eye chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 pounds ground duck
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
6 sesame seed buns, sliced lengthwise
1 1/2 cups Chinese cabbage, shredded
1 cup toasted cashews, chopped



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the spicy Szechuan sauce, add the oil to a small fireproof non-stick saucepan and heat on the grill until hot. Add the garlic, green onions, and peppers and saute over high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the hoisin sauce and soy sauce and continue to cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and set aside. Add in the cilantro; stir.

To make the patties, place the black peppercorns in a bag and set the bag on the prep counter. Using the back of a skillet, repeatedly hit the peppercorns until they have all cracked. Remove the cracked peppercorns from the bag and combine the peppercorns, duck, ginger, cilantro, chili flakes, and salt in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the sesame seed buns.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the sesame seed buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, place a moderate amount of the Szechuan sauce over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place an equal amount of Chinese cabbage, a patty, and equal amount of chopped cashews. Add the bun tops and serve.