Home burger challenge: Quackle and pop burger

By Nikki & Jordan Shearer

Featured in Capital #53
Subscribe to get the real thing here

This time of year is usually a highlight in the Wellington food scene: a range of amazing events and pop-ups, and our favourite Burger Wellington.

If, like us, you’re missing your winter burger fix, then try our Home Burger Challenge.

Create your “burger-off” with this Quackle and Pop Burger and our Moussaka Burger (recipe here).

Makes 2 burgers


150ml white wine vinegar
50ml water
4 tbsp white sugar
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
70g macadamias
10g butter
2 tbsp white sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
¼ cup freeze-dried mandarins (roughly broken)
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 duck breasts
¼ cup flour
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 tsp salt
1 egg, whisked
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp activated charcoal
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 sesame burger buns
2 slices Emmental raw milk cheese
2 tsp popping candy


In a small pot, bring white wine vinegar, water and white sugar to the boil, and boil until sugar is dissolved.

While hot, pour over sliced fennel and leave to pickle for at least 1 hour.

In a dry pan, dry roast macadamias until golden. Add butter and melt, tossing macadamias.

Add sugar, salt and chilli flakes, and cook on a med-high heat for 1–2 minutes until the sugar is a golden caramel, stirring constantly, careful that the sugar doesn’t burn.

Pour onto some greaseproof paper and leave to set. Once cooled, roughly chop.

Make a slaw, by adding together cabbage, chives, freeze-dried mandarins, mayo and 2–3 tbsp of the chopped chilli macadamias.

Carefully remove skin from the duck breast.

On a medium-low pan, place skin, outer side down. Cook for a good 15 minutes, rendering fat, and pushing skin down to ensure it is consistently golden.

Turn skin over, and continue to cook, pressing down until both sides are golden and crispy. Remove quackling from pan and place in oven at 100℃ to continue to crisp while you cook the duck. Reserve duck fat in pan for cooking the breasts. 

Place duck breasts between two sheets of clingwrap and gently pound with a rolling pin until even in thickness.

Set out 3 bowls. Place flour, Chinese 5 spice and salt in one, egg in second, and panko crumbs mixed with activated charcoal in the third.

Spread 1 tsp dijon mustard over one side of each breast.

Coat each breast in flour mix, then egg, then crumbs.

Reheat duck fat in pan. Cook schnitzels for 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on your liking).

Cut burger buns in half and butter. Gently heat buns in oven, lightly melting Emmental cheese on the bottom half of the burgers.

To assemble burgers: Top bottom of buns with duck schnitzel, quackling (you can roughly chop this if you prefer), pickled fennel, and a generous handful of slaw.

Sprinkle 1 tsp of popping candy over the slaw of each burger. Top with bun! 


Sign up to our newsletter