This recipe morphs the classic Chinese pairing of roasted duck with plum sauce into a crispy spring roll appetizer. The filling is made by mixing shredded duck confit meat with sautéed mushrooms, carrots, onions, and sweet water chestnuts. It’s wrapped in thin rice-paper wrappers, deep-fried, and served with a hoisin-plum dipping sauce. Buy duck confit legs at gourmet grocery stores or make your own with CHOW’s easy Slow Cooker Duck Confit recipe.

What to buy: Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet condiment made from sugar, soybeans, garlic, sesame seeds, chiles, and spices. Plum sauce, sometimes known as duck sauce, is a sweet-and-sour condiment made with plums, sugar, and seasonings. Both hoisin and plum sauces can be found in the ethnic aisle at most grocery stores or in Asian markets. Or, try our easy, homemade sweet and sour sauce recipe.

Special equipment: You will need a deep-frying/candy thermometer for this recipe.

This recipe was featured as part of our Game Meat Recipes for the Big Game.

  • Yield: About 40 spring rolls
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 mins

Ingredients (16)

For the dipping sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons plum sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the spring rolls:

  • 2 duck confit legs (about 14 ounces)
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts, thinly sliced into matchsticks (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 20 (8-1/2-inch) round rice paper wrappers


For the dipping sauce:

  1. Place all of the measured ingredients in a small bowl, season with pepper, and stir to combine; set aside.

For the spring rolls:

  1. Remove the skin from the duck legs and discard. Remove the meat, shred it into small pieces, and place in a large bowl (you should have about 3 cups). Discard the bones.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring rarely, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the duck meat.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan and place over medium heat until shimmering. Add the carrot and onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 8 minutes. Add the five-spice and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the carrot-onion mixture to the bowl with the meat and mushrooms. Add the water chestnuts and cilantro to the bowl and stir to combine. Taste and season the filling with additional salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Place a clean, damp kitchen towel on a work surface. Fill a medium frying pan or wide, shallow dish large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers with hot tap water. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, completely submerge the wrapper until it is soft and pliable, about 15 seconds. Remove from the water and place on the towel.
  5. Working quickly, place 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling across the wrapper about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom and leaving about 1 inch of space on each side. Fold the bottom of the wrapper up and over the filling. Holding the whole thing firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in. Then, pressing firmly down to hold the folds in place, roll the entire wrapper horizontally up from the bottom to the top. Place on a baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Leave 3/4 inch between each spring roll so they don’t stick together, and replace the water in the pan or dish with hot tap water as needed.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet; set aside.
  7. When the oil is ready, add 3 of the spring rolls. Fry, moving the spring rolls with tongs as necessary to keep them from touching and sticking together, and turning occasionally until crispy (they will not turn golden brown), about 4 to 5 minutes. Using the tongs, transfer the spring rolls to the rack. Repeat with the remaining spring rolls. Let sit until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Cut each spring roll in half on the bias and serve with the dipping sauce.