Thai vegetarian duck salad

Pukk, one of my favorite restaurants for vegetarian Thai food in New York serves a divine “duck” salad.  It has this potent spicy, sour, and sweet dressing offset with chewy cashews, crispy mock duck, and fresh bursts of pineapple.  I am obsessed. Because it is on the other side of town from me, and even though it is potentially the best $5 you can spend in the city, I had to forage and figure how to make it for myself- so I can eat it, basically every day if necessary.

Mock vegetarian duck generally comes in a can and is dimpled as if it is a bird that has been de-feathered.  I eat it at restaurants all the time, but something about peeling back the can and seeing that strange meat in the canning liquid just ruins the experience for me. So, I opted for a pack of fresh seitan I found in the refrigerated soy product part of the grocery store, and for my purposes, it worked really well.

I apologize for the odd measurements in the dressing, but I tweaked it here and there by the teaspoon to try to get it as close as possible to the version I covet. The result is perfection, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Enjoy.

Thai Mock Duck Salad

For the “duck”:

1 package of seitan or mock duck (or maybe tempeh)
1 tsp vegetable oil
pinch of salt

For the salad mix:

1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
3 scallions,  thinly sliced
¼ cup carrots grated or thinly sliced
¼ cup purple cabbage cut in thin shreds
¼ cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
½ cup grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup pineapple sliced into small bite-sized chunks
½ cup unsalted cashew nuts, roasted or toasted
2 cups chopped mixed greens with crunch, such as romaine lettuce

For the dressing:

5 teaspoons thai chili paste (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
2 Tbsp honey (or sugar)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp brown rice vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil (optional)
½- 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes (optional, for extra spice)

To prepare the protein, heat the oil and salt over medium high heat and sauté for 5-7 minutes until crispy in cast iron skillet or non-stick pan

For the dressing, whisk together all ingredients

Mix the crispy duck while still warm with the remaining ingredients and toss with the dressing

Serve right away


  1. That looks so delicious! Love your blog. Your photography is just lovely.

  2. hehe ..fake duck….miss your food girl!

  3. Wow, this is gorgeous! I actually have never attempted seitan, but I do like tempeh. I am adding this to my to do list!

  4. Wow, what a beautiful site. I love your website design work: typography, recipe layout and photography. Next I have to try the recipes, haha, which I’m guessing will be equally impressive. Three Cheers!!!

  5. Does mock duck have the “gamey” taste of real duck? Just wondering… I don’t like the real thing and always hesitate to order “duck” at vegan restaurants. I would totally also be freaked out by a can of mock duck!

  6. Tried this recipe today….my husband absolutely loves it…thanks

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