Tryphe Specialty Foods Challenge: Duck Breast

Duck breast from
Tryphe Specialty Foods
4495 Dunbar Street, Vancouver

My friend and fellow foodie Instagrammer, head of marketing for Tryphe Specialty Foods, Leila Kwok (@leilalikes on Instagram) asked me one day if I would be interested in making a few dishes with ingredients from Tryphe. Having never done something like this before, I was excited but a bit nervous as well! Coincidentally, the day after Leila asked me to do this, I came home at night to see my mom watching one of her favourite shows- Martha Stewart’s Cooking School. She was cooking duck breast, and I immediately knew that I wanted to try making one too. I had never made pan seared duck breast before, but I wanted a challenge!

I collectively gathered information from YouTube tutorials on how to cook duck breast and gathered plating inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest.

Here’s what I did for the duck (with some slight adjustments):

(Directions from

  1. Using a sharp knife, trim away excess skin from the duck (leaving enough to amply cover the breast). Using a sharp knife, score the skin, first cutting diagonally in one direction, and then the other, in a crosshatch manner. Cut all the way through the skin and most of the fat, but avoid the flesh. Alternatively, you can use a Jaccard tool to pierce the skin. On a small rimmed baking sheet or a plate, place a 1/4 inch layer of salt rough the size of the duck breast. Place duck breast skin-side down on bed of salt. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Remove and brush off salt with a stiff brush. Line a small rimmed baking sheet or shallow dish with ice cubes and cover with plastic wrap. Place duck breast skin-side down on plastic wrap and weight it with a cheesecloth bundle filled with pie weights or dried beans for 25 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove cheesecloth bundle and season flesh side with pepper, and place skin side down, in an unheated 10-inch skillet. Top again with cheesecloth bundle and cook over medium-low heat until a small pool of fat forms in the pan. As fat accumulates, spoon off into a heatproof bowl and reserve for another use; allowing it to cool before storing in an airtight container at room temperature. Continue to cook duck until the skin is nicely browned and crisp, about 25 minutes. Use tongs to turn breast over and top with cheesecloth bundle for 1 minute. Remove bundle and transfer skillet to oven and cook until duck is medium rare, 8 to 12 minutes. It should register 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part. Transfer to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to rest for 5 to 7 minutes. The duck will continue to cook slightly during this time.


Pickled Shallots
Shallots, thinly sliced into rings
Red wine vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste

Duck fat or clarified butter
Yams peeled and cut into 1 inch medallions
Chicken Stock
Apple Cider

Watercress & Pea Shoot Salad
Pea Shoots
Olive Oil
Lime Juice
Kosher Salt

Pickled Apples
Crisp Apples
Apple Cider Vinegar

The process:

The duck breast lying on a bed of course salt.
Yam medallions
Apples pickling in apple cider vinegar and sugar.


Pickled Shallots, that I started pickling a few days ahead.
Watercress and Pea shoots dressed with olive oil, lime juice and kosher salt.
I loved the yams- they were sweet, salty and a little tart all at the same time. I accidentally ended up using apple cider vinegar instead of plain apple cider, which turned out okay in the end.
I loved the yams- they were sweet, salty and a little tart all at the same time. I accidentally ended up using apple cider vinegar instead of plain apple cider, which turned out okay in the end.


This was so fun to plate! I think I’ve found a new favourite hobby.



I haven’t had time to post them yet, but I was also fortunate enough to try some of Tryphe’s baked goods! My favourite was the Apple Cake, which was very moist and perfectly baked!


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