Peking Duck – Chinese Restaurant Experience at Home
I can’t say which cuisine is my favourite one, but Chinese is for sure in my top 3. I love it for the different stir fries, the variety of dumplings, and for the one and only Peking Duck. In the past, I used to have it only in restaurants as I thought it was tough to prepare. But then, one day I came across a recipe for this dish that seemed easy, and I gave it a try. It was good, but then, I read a bit more about Peking Duck preparation and adjusted the recipe accordingly. And although I am sure Chinese restaurants have their special tricks to prepare it, the duck cooked as per the instructions below is easy to make and tastes like it came straight from a great Chinese restaurant.
From time to time I make Peking Duck just for 4 of us. But it is also a great dish to serve (with other Chinese starters) to a group of people. Everything can be prepared in advance, the duck will be ready exactly when you want it to be, and it takes only minutes (or seconds, if you use a microwave) to steam the pancakes just before serving. And it is fun for the guests to fill up their own pancakes.
P.S. If you have a vegetarian among your guests, cut tofu into 2-3cm cubes, mix with some teriyaki sauce and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Then put in the oven with the duck for the last 20-30 minutes. My vegetarian daughter says it tastes almost as good as the real thing with all the trimmings and most importantly – it allows a vegetarian to participate in the special way of eating this meal.
A recipe for crispy Peking Duck served with pancakes and all the trimmings, just like in Chinese restaurants.
Remove any feathers that are left on the duck and cut off the excess fat.
Put the duck in a big bowl and pour boiling water over it (if necessary, turn the duck so the water can be poured all over it), keep in hot water for 2-3 minutes, and then pat dry it completely with paper towels.
Mix the honey with warm water and coat the duck’s skin in it (using a brush).
Put the duck into a bowl and keep in a fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. The duck should stay dry so use a bowl in which it can “stand”.
Heat an oven to 170 Celsius degrees (150 for fan ovens).
Put the duck (breasts up) on a roasting rack placed over a roasting tin and roast for 4 hours.
Increase the temperature to 220 Celsius degrees (200 fan ovens) and roast for 30 minutes more.
Carve/shred the duck’s meat including the crispy skin into small pieces and transfer to a serving dish.
Put separately on serving plates the cucumber, spring onions, Hoisin sauce and warmed up (steamed or microwaved) pancakes. If you microwave them, cover the plate with pancakes with cling film and microwave for approx. 30-40 seconds on Medium.
When the meal is served, everybody helps themselves to a pancake, spreads a bit of Hoisin sauce on it, puts the pieces of cucumber, spring onions, duck and optionally a bit more sauce and rolls the pancake.
*If you cannot find the special pancakes for Peking Duck in shops, or if you prefer to make them yourself, please click HERE for the recipe.