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Hoisin Duck Legs with Honey and Orange

Hoisin duck legs roasted until beautifully tender and sticky in a glaze that sees hoisin sauce mixed with orange, ginger, honey & vinegar.

Whilst this recipe takes a long time to cook, almost all of it is spent with your feet up and of the 3-hour cooking time, you only work for about 10 minutes!

Hoisin baked duck legs with soba noodle salad.

Sticky Roasted Duck Legs

I love cooking with duck, it is a meat with so much flavour and certainly not one that appeared on our dinner plates growing up.

My introduction to duck, probably like many of us in the UK, came from crispy duck with pancakes from the local Chinese takeaway.

These sticky roast hoisin duck legs continue my subconscious association with duck and Chinese flavours and to that end, it joins my plum and duck stir fry.

The duck legs begin cooking low and slow in the oven in exactly the same process I use for my slow roast duck legs.

Then a rich and boldly flavoured hoisin sauce based glaze is poured over. They are then roasted at a higher temperature until they go all stick and unctuous!

That’s it, I’m not kidding you, it really is that easy!

Overhead hoisin baked duck legs with soba noodle salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I prepare this in advance?

Yes, but it is best served warmed through a little, but be careful not to heat it too much because it will dry out.

Can I make this with duck breast?

You could use the glaze on duck breast but you will need to change the methodology considerably.

I would personally use the cold pan method of cooking the duck breast, the same one that I use for my pan-fried duck breast with orange recipe. Once the duck is flipped I would pour over the glaze and transfer it to the oven for 7-8 minutes, then rest for 5-7 minutes.

What is dark soy sauce?

Dark soy is richer and thicker than light soy sauce and is less salty, it is often used as a dipping sauce.

Here it gives the dish a dark and sticky finish to the duck legs.

Can I use light soy sauce?

Yes, but it will change the appearance of the dish. You also need to reduce the amount of salt that you put on the duck legs by half before placing them in the oven.

What is Chinkiang vinegar?

Chinkiang vinegar is a Chinese black vinegar that has a wonderfully complex flavour profile. It could be substituted for any other rice vinegar, but I urge you to try it as it is wonderful.

Don’t worry about having lots leftover it gets used a lot in my Chinese inspired recipes. It appears in dishes like my Instant Pot spare ribs, General Tso’s chicken and delicious Szechuan beef stir fry.

A portion of sticky roast hoisin duck leg on a fork.

Serving Suggestions

I’ve served my roast hoisin duck legs with my soba noodle salad in these pictures. The salty, sour and nutty flavours are the perfect match.

However, it is a really versatile centrepiece to a meal. It is just as good with something like egg-fried rice as it is with stir-fried asparagus or my broccoli stir fry.

The sweet and sticky coating lends itself to salty flavours, as result, it is wonderful with some straw potatoes too. If I serve these I like to add some pickles, either pickled daikon or pickled cucumber are my favourites.

Whilst the oven is on cooking the duck you could even roast some tenderstem broccoli or pak choi.

Close-up sticky hoisin baked duck leg with soba noodle salad.

Equipment Used

I do not mention brands of equipment unless I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Oven.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Whisk.
  • Grater.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Measuring cups and spoons.
  • Small baking dish (25x17x5cm or 10x7x2″).
  • Spoon for basting.
Sticky roast hoisin duck leg served with soba noodle salad.
Yield: 2 Servings

Slow Roasted Hoisin Duck Legs Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes

These roast duck legs in a sticky hoisin glaze are wonderfully easy to make and feature a delicious combination of soy, orange, honey and vinegar.


  • 2 Duck Legs
  • ½ Tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • ½ Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 15g (½ Thumb Sized Piece) Ginger
  • 1 Small (100g) Orange
  • 75g (¼ Cup) Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Chinkiang Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp (20g) Honey


  1. Season the duck legs with the coarse sea salt and Chinese five spice.
  2. Place the seasoned duck in a baking dish (25x17x5cm or 10x7x2″) and drop them in the oven at 130°C or 265°F for 2¼ hours.
  3. Peel and grate the ginger and drop it into a bowl.
  4. Zest and juice the orange into the ginger and add the hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, honey and Chinkiang vinegar then mix it all together.
  5. After the duck has had 2¼ hours drain off the fat (do not throw it away it is delicious) and then pour over the hoisin sauce mix.
  6. Return it to the oven and turn the heat up to 180°C or 350°F and cook for a further 30 minutes basting with the sauce every 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 405Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 2195mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 23gProtein: 34g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Gloria Maley

Sunday 21st of April 2024

Could this be cooked in a crock pot? I do not have an oven.

Brian Jones

Monday 22nd of April 2024

I am sure that you could cook these flavours in a slow cooker, however you would need to make significant changes to both the moisture content and the cooking time and I have not done that. You would be better placed looking for a slow cooker/crockpot duck leg recipe and adapt it for the flavours I have used here.

Good luck.


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