These hoisin-glazed duck shanks are marinated in a mixture of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice wine, then grilled until tender and glazed with honey.

When I first saw the words duck and shank together I thought it must be a mistake, or a joke. After all, isn’t a shank part of the leg of a four-legged creature? I was thinking lamb. But, no. A shank is the part of the leg of any vertebrate. Anyway, lucky for me I live but 20 minutes from Australia’s largest free-range duck farm. This means lots of whole ducks, livers, and shanks.–Ross Dobson

What exactly is a duck shank?

A duck shank isn’t something you’ll commonly find at any store. It’s simply the way the author cleverly refers to nudging the meat and skin of the drumstick closer to the joint, which exposes more bone and makes for daintier, or at least a lot less messier, holding with a hand than had they been left untouched.

Hoisin-Glazed Duck Shanks

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 2 H
  • 1 D, 4 H
  • Serves 4 to 6



In a large bowl or baking dish, combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, and star anise. Add the duck legs and toss to thoroughly coat in the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning the duck every now and then. Remove the duck from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.

Preheat the grill to medium (about 350°F | 177°C) and close the lid.

Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the duck from the marinade and arrange on the rack. Place on the grill over direct heat and half fill the baking sheet with water.

If you have a water pan that fits under your grill, you can use that and place the duck legs directly on the grill above the water pan.

Close the lid and cook for 30 minutes. Turn the duck over and cook until golden, about 30 minutes more, adding water if the baking sheet appears dry.

Brush the honey over the duck, turning the duck and brushing each side with the honey until glistening and crisp, 10 minutes more.

Arrange the duck on a platter and scatter with the scallions. Serve with the Chinese barbecue sauce on the side.

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