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Smoked Duck Breast

Juicy and smoky


Donabe smoker, "Ibushi Gin" (large)


3 - 4


  • 3-4 pieces medium-size duck breasts (about 3/4″ or 2 cm thick) , excess skin trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon wedges

Ohter things you need:

  • a piece of aluminum foil
  • a small handful (about 1/3 oz or 8 g) of smoke chips


    1. Score 3-4 lines on the skin of the duck breast lengthwise, then score more lines crosswise, by leaving 1/4" to 1/3" (6 mm to 8 mm) in between.  Make sure not to penetrate the knife into the meat.
    2. Season both sides of the duck breasts with salt and pepper. Set them skin-side up on a plate (uncovered) and keep in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. This will help concentrating the flavor of the duck, while making the skin surface dry for better result when it’s smoked.
    3. Take the duck out to the room temperature about 1 hour in advance of the smoking.  Pat dry both sides with paper towel.
    4. Line the bottom of "Ibushi Gin" with a piece of aluminum foil. Spread the smoke chips so that they make a ring shape. Make sure the foil is tightly attached to the bottom.
    5. Set the bottom and middle racks with the duck breasts (thicker pieces should go to the bottom tier).
    6. Set "Ibushi Gin" (with no lid) over high heat. Wait until the chips starts smoking (about 7-8 minutes).
    7. Cover with lid and pour water into the rim surrounding the lid. Continue to heat for 9-10 minutes.
    8. Turn off the heat and let it rest (with lid on) for 20 minutes.
    9. Slice and serve with some lemon wedges.

    • Slice one duck breast from the center to make sure the doneness. It the duck turn out to be undercooked, put them back in the donabe and cook over high heat for a 5 minutes and let it rest again for 5-10 minutes, or transfer them to a oven sheet and just finish in the oven over 400F (200C) degrees for 5 minutes or until the duck is cooked through.
    • Smoking Option…Add some hojicha (roasted green tea leaves) or thyme sprigs to the smoke chips before starting the smoking process for flavor variations.

    About the measurements used in our recipes

    For rice measurement, traditional Japanese rice measurement is used.
    • 1 rice-cup = 3/4 US cup = 180 ml
    Other conversions (US to metric measures)
    • 1 cup = 240 ml1
    • inch (1") = 2.5 cm
    • 1 ounce (1 oz) = 30 ml