Jump to content

Found the Red Ginger watermelon/duck recipe. Anybody make it?

Recommended Posts

We returned from our first Oceania cruise. Loved the Red Ginger restaurant and the watermelon, duck salad.  Has anybody made it?  Can I use something else besides duck?  What's palm sugar and lemongrass stalk? Galangal?

Thank you!





¾ cup palm sugar, coarsely chopped

¼ cup water

½ large shallot, coarsely chopped

1 lemongrass stalk, bulb portion only, coarsely chopped

1 kaffir lime leaf

½-inch piece galangal, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 to 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate


Canola oil, for frying

½ cup raw cashew nuts

Kosher salt

6 confit duck legs

2 to 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce

6 cups 1-inch-cube seedless watermelon

½ cup Thai basil or sweet basil leaves

½ cup mint leaves

½ cup cilantro leaves

1/3 cup thinly sliced shallot

FOR THE SAUCE: In a medium saucepan, combine the palm sugar and water, place over medium heat, and heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is melted – about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the shallot, lemongrass, lime leaf and galangal and let sit at room temperature to cool and to infuse the flavors for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.

Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl. Discard the solids. Add 1 tablespoon each of the fish sauce and tamarind, mixing well. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional fish sauce and tamarind if needed. Set the sauce aside at room temperature.

FOR THE SALAD: Pour 4 inches of canola oil into a large, deep saucepan and heat to 325°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a small plate with paper towels for draining the cashews and line a larger plate for draining the duck. Add the cashews to the hot oil and fry until crisp, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt while hot.

Increase the temperature of the oil to 350°F. Add 2 duck legs to the hot oil and fry, turning to brown on all sides, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to the towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining duck legs in two batches.

When the duck legs are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin from each leg in as large a piece as possible. Cut the skin into strips and set aside. Bone the legs and shred the meat into a bowl. Season to taste with the hoisin sauce.

In a separate bowl, combine the watermelon, basil, mint, and cilantro. Add the duck meat, duck skin, cashews, and shallot. Toss with enough of the sweet fish sauce to coat lightly. You may not need all of the sauce.

TO SERVE: Divide the salad among individual serving plates or martini glasses.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My wonderful wife likewise took the cooking class on the Marina and makes the dish as the ingredients are available. It’s best with good ripe watermelons which isn’t always available. Another important ingredient is getting good Duck confit. 


The worst example of this salad was served on our last cruise on the Nautica on Red Ginger night in the Terrace. The watermelon was unripe and instead of juicy duck confit they were using grossly over cooked duck pieces. Using the proper ingredients is important!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have made this dish twice for dinner guests. It is doable for a group of eight if all ingredients are ready to plate and I use a deep fryer to quickly cook the duck. My version not as pretty as the Oceania one but tasted just as good. 



Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Jancruz said:

I too have the recipe but takes too long to make

Oh my I have recipes that pretty much take all day. Glad that doesn't deter me 🙂 But honestly I'd think it's few parts of the country that has all these ingredients and I think a lot of substitutions. would not be good. @pinot loverwhere do you get duck confit period? 🙂 Oh, wait. I might have seen them at Costco during the holidays. PS Neither of us like watermelon 🙂

Link to post
Share on other sites

Had to order 3 of the ingredients online.  Went to Safeway today, but no duck.  Chicken thighs (with skin on) will have to do.  Watermelon is out of season, but they had some precut.  I’m going to give it a try, but geez... what was I thinkin!!!! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, dcsam said:

Had to order 3 of the ingredients online.  Went to Safeway today, but no duck.  Chicken thighs (with skin on) will have to do.  Watermelon is out of season, but they had some precut.  I’m going to give it a try, but geez... what was I thinkin!!!! 

Here's a reputable site to 'confit' the chicken.



Edited by clo
Link to post
Share on other sites

When we find duck confit, we buy several and bring them home and freeze them until we need them. Substituting chicken for duck is like substituting tofu for beef, completely different flavor profile! We maintain a herb garden year round so we always have the fresh herbs needed. If we don’t have the proper ingredients, we don’t make it!

One needs ripe watermelon. The ripe juicy watermelon blends with the rich spices of the tamarind and fish oil to create a fusion of flavors. Unless the watermelon is ripe, that fusion never occurs. 


For us ingredients matter. My wife made a spectacular Beef Wellington for Xmas. The beef was coated with a delicious duck pate, then a sherry marinated mushroom coating. If it didn’t  have pate it wouldn’t have been Beef Wellington, it would be a different dish. Beef Wellington has pate. Ingredients matter. Oceania doesn’t use pate on their faux Beef Wellington.😢

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Cruise Critic's State of the Industry Report - Trends & Future Outlook
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...