#RennieHappyEating | 5 Spice Duck Bao with Kumquat + Plum Sauce

As you guys know from this post, I was so happy to have been one of the lucky bloggers picked to participate in the Rennie Mystery Box Challenge. If you follow SORTEDFood, you'll know that they regularly come up with new recipes to tackle the mystery ingredient that Rennie* sends them.

Rennie has been around for more than 70 years, helping us to tackle indigestion and heartburn caused by over eating and eating too quickly.

10 lucky bloggers got to pick out a bag, each filled with a mystery ingredient and their challenge is to come up with a unique recipe using that ingredient. I ended up with kumquats, an ingredient I that I knew of but not necessarily know what to do with!

After a few days of thinking long and hard of whether I was going to make a savoury or sweet dish, I settled on savoury. My choice of meat was either going to be steak or duck, but when duck l'orange came to mind, I knew duck and kumquats were going to pair really well.

Since Bao in Soho errupted into the foodie scene earlier this year, I have been obsessed by baos. The fluffy and milky steamed soft buns are so addictive, and luckily Seewoo (a supermarket in Chinatown) have caught on and I was so pleased to see ready made packets in their frozen aisles.
With my kumquats and bao to hand, the duck was just going to have an Asian spin on it of course!

5 spice duck bao with kumquat and plum sauce is born.

Kumquats are quite sharp to taste, a little like a cross between a lemon and an orange but with added bitterness too. In order for the whole dish to work well together, the kumquat would need something sugary to balance it, and the duck needed to be salty enough to ofset that perfect sweet and salty combo.

First of all, you'll need to marinade the duck breasts and then they will go into the oven for approx 25 minutes. Shake some salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, white pepper, 5 spice powder and dark soya sauce over the duck meat and rub well with hands so that it is evenly coated.

Adding some chopped up kumquats and laying the duck breasts on top before it goes in for roasting with bring more of the citrus fragrance to the meat.  

To bring a sweetness to the kumquats, I added plum sauce and then a squeeze of lemon too. All of this went into a blender and was pulverised until it became a thick sauce.

This is what the magical frozen baos look like. I found these in Seewoo supermarket in Chinatown in the Frozen section. They can be heated up quickly in the microwave or steamed in the traditional way.

Ta-da! Look at that beautifully roasted meat and sitting in a pool of savoury soya goodness.

To serve, slice the duck into thin pieces and start assembling the bao with slices of duck, chopped cucumber, shredded spring onion and the kumquat plum sauce.

The verdict? It was so good!

All the elements complimented the overall dish really well, but I did feel the duck wasn't salty enough, so I have amended the recipe below. I'm really happy at how well the kumquat and plum sauce went together, and it lifted the gamey duck meat so the bao didn't feel heavy or stodgy to eat.  

My husband gave them the thumbs up, and I'm definitely going to be recreating this recipe for my next dinner party. In case you guys were wondering what I would have made had I gone down the sweet route, it was either going to be kumquat and white chocolate macarons or kumquat chiffon cake. Next time!

Thanks to Rennie for such a super fun challenge and for making this post possible!

x1 packet of bao
x2 duck breasts
x15 kumquats
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
1 tsp dark soya sauce
1 tsp light soya sauce (this is the additional salty hit that the duck needed!)
1/2 cup of water
3 tsp plum sauce
Small wedge of lemon
1/2 cucumber, cut into long slices
2 stalks of spring onion, shredded as finely as possible

1. Preheat oven to 220C
2. Wash the duck and shake off excess water. Add the salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, white pepper, 5 spice powder and dark and light soya sauce over the duck breasts and rub well with your hands so that it is evenly coated
3. Slice 5 of the kumquats and lay in a roasting tray. Add marinaded duck breasts on top, and pour 1/2 cup of water around the meat. If you like your duck a little pink, check after 15-20 minutes, or if you prefer it medium well like I do, 25 minutes is just right
4. Whilst the duck is roasting, chop/prepare the cucumber and spring onion. If you are planning on steaming the bun, do this now, but if you plan to use the microwave, you can heat the baos when the duck is cooked
5. In a food processor, add the remaining 10 kumquats and pulverise until smooth, skin included. Add in the plum sauce and a squeeze of lemon, and blend well. Pour into a small non stick saucepan and stir gently on low heat for 5 minutes. The heat will caramalise the sugars in the sauce and make it a little stickier
6. When your duck has finished roasting, rest it for 5 mins and then slice into thin pieces
7. Assemble the bao with slices of duck, chopped cucumber, shredded spring onion and the kumquat and plum sauce
8. #RennieHappyEating!!

Will you be giving this recipe a go? If you do, I'd love to hear how it turned out for you!

*All the ingredients used in this recipe is sponsored by Rennie  


  1. Wow, this is amazing Lucy! The duck looks so good, made me really hungry. I like the combination of ingredients - well done!

    Hanh / hanhabelle

    1. Awww thanks so much Hanh!! I was very proud of this combo too haha x

  2. This looks absolutely delicious! An utter triumph, so creative.

    1. Thanks so much Claire, maybe you can try this recipe and let me know if you liked it!! =D

  3. A.Maz.Zing.

    A+ for photos and directions even I could follow!

    1. Awww thanks Tim! Hi5 to your awesome recipe too!! =)


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