Gail Johnson
Duck Taco

Duck Taco

Developed by Tacofino Restaurants’ regional executive chef Stefan Hartmann, these are not your typical tacos. Stuffed with roasted duck, shiitake mushrooms, dried apricots, seared corn, and black-garlic mayo, they’re worth the extra effort and will wow your football-fan friends.

Photo credit: Tacofino

Yields 12 corn tortillas

Roasted Duck


1 whole duck

Salt, to marinate


Rub duck generously with salt and marinate overnight. Add a bit of water to a braising pan and pre-heat oven to 180°C. Cook the duck at 180°C for 55 minutes and then increase oven temperature to 215°C for an additional 20 minutes. The duck should be beautifully roasted. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Chop into thumbnail-sized pieces and set aside. Reserve duck fat to sear tortillas.

Dried Apricots


12 dried apricots

100 mL water

30 g (1 oz.) white wine vinegar

25 g (5 tsp) sugar

5 g (1 tsp) salt


Bring water to a boil and add vinegar, salt and sugar. Pour liquid over dried apricots and allow mixture to sit for 2 hours. Slice apricots into quart-sized pieces and set aside.

Shiitake Mushrooms


12 Shiitake Mushrooms

20 mL (4 tsp) soy sauce

5 mL (1 tsp) sesame oil

2 sprigs of cilantro

1 lime (juice)


Clean mushrooms and remove all mushroom stumps. Place into a bowl and season with soy sauce, sesame oil, cilantro and lime juice. Line a tray with parchment paper and place each mushroom side-by-side on a tray with mushroom caps facing up. Cover mushrooms with another layer of parchment paper and place another tray directly on top of mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 180°C and cook for 16 minutes. With the weight of the tray still on top of the mushrooms, allow to cool. Slice mushrooms and set aside.




1 fresh corn cob

Salt, to taste

Garlic, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Olive Oil, to coat the pan


Clean corn and heat a roasting pan. Sear corn kernels and season with garlic, salt and pepper (as desired).

Black garlic mayo


150 g Mayo

2 Tbsp. black garlic puree

1 Tbsp. roasted garlic

Lime Juice, to taste

Chili powder, a pinch


Add all ingredients to a Thermomix and blend until smooth.

Putting it all together:

  1. Sear the chopped duck meat. Set aside and keep warm until tortillas are ready.
  2. Sear corn tortillas in duck fat until golden brown. They should not get too greasy.
  3. Add duck meat onto tortilla shell.
  4. Add a dollop of black garlic mayo.
  5. Add the seared corn and sliced Shiitake mushrooms.
  6. Add the jalapeños and cilantro.

Finish the taco by adding the sliced apricots and add a squeeze of fresh lime.

Gail Johnson is an award-winning journalist based in Vancouver who has earned national and local nominations and awards for her work. She contributes regularly to the Georgia Straight, Globe and Mail, Yahoo Canada, and other publications and websites. She is also the food columnist for CBC Vancouver’s On the Coast program, appearing weekly on air during prime time. A mother of two, she speaks fluent French and conversational Spanish and is a certified fitness instructor, teaching high-intensity classes regularly.


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