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Vanilla duck recipe

Intensely sweet

Vanilla duck, an exotic delight

Vanilla duck is traditionally served with white rice on Reunion Island. With the added flavour of those famous black pods, this recipe gives the “cari” a delicate and subtle taste and aroma. Vanilla duck is an iconic dish of Creole gastronomy and is very popular with the people of Reunion Island, as well as tourists who come to taste it in one of the many restaurants on the island. Book your table now!

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Vanilla duck recipe: to the kitchen!

Preparation time30 min the day before
Cooking time1hr15

Preparing Vanilla Duck :

  • The day before, cut the duck into chunks, and marinade them overnight in a bowl with a tablespoon of oil, the mushrooms, wine, salt, pepper and seeds from the Reunion Island vanilla – that you can collect by scraping inside 3 vanilla pods when you cut them lengthways.


  • On the day
  1. Fry the duck in a pan over a high heat in some of the leftover marinade, previously heated.
  2. Press the garlic and ginger
  3. Slice tomatoes and onions
  4. Once the chunks of duck are browned, add the onions and fry them, then add the garlic/ginger mixture
  5. Add the tomatoes and reduce for 2 to 3 minutes
  6. Pour in the marinade and add the turmeric
  7. Let it simmer gently for one hour


(for 6 people)

  • a 2 kg duck
  • 3 Bourbon Vanilla pods
  • 1 litre of red wine
  • 6 onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 150 g of button mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • oil, salt, pepper


To really bring out the flavour of the vanilla, don’t hesitate to add a lot of spices. After an hour, you should have a creamy sauce.

What are the nutritional benefits of vanilla duck ?

The traditional gastronomy of Reunion Island is well known for warming up the bellies and the hearts of anyone who tastes it! Would you like to discover the flavours of the island, but keep an eye on your weight at the same time? Vanilla duck is an excellent compromise.

Here are 3 good reasons to choose this dish from the menu:

Duck is a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorous, copper and vitamin B. Duck is also rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, otherwise known as good cholesterol.

Rice is beneficial for ensuring good bowel functions. It is a good way of calming things down after a few too many spicy dishes.

Vanilla has the same anti-stress properties as chocolate. Perfect for enjoying your holiday!

Some recommendations

For a perfect vanilla duck

Which spices can be added to duck?

 There is nothing better to add to the soft texture of duck and the gentle nature of white rice, than delicate Bourbon Vanilla. This label was created in 1964 and it distinguishes, protects and showcases the vanilla produced in the Indian Ocean (Reunion Island, Madagascar, Comoro islands and Mauritius).

Other spices such as ginger, turmeric, nutmeg or even honey are also perfect to add extra taste to this dish. Be careful not to overshadow the taste of the vanilla, as this should remain the true star of this dish, vanilla duck!

What should we drink with vanilla duck?

To make sure your “cari” is a success, you need a good food/wine match! The flavours of vanilla duck go perfectly well with a red Bourgogne or Saint-Emilion. If you prefer beer, the Dodo Bourbon blonde is ideal, with its cereal aromas. (The abuse of alcohol is dangerous for your health, to be consumed in moderation)

How could this vanilla duck recipe be varied?

To vary the tastes, you could replace duck with another poultry such as guinea fowl or chicken.

The rice can easily be exchanged for any pulses, known as grains on Reunion Island: lentils, white beans or butter beans…