Thursday, January 04, 2007

Peking Duck

We don’t often dine out in NZ as we are quite happy to relax at home with our own cooking – who needs the traffic and parking hassles! The reverse is true however, when we are overseas on holiday – why stay in the hotel / apartment when there are so many new things to ‘tickle the senses’, especially the taste buds.

Our favorite food is Chinese, and Peking Duck would have to be one of our preferred dishes as either dine-in or more often than not as a take-away to be enjoyed in the evening in front of the TV with a cold beer.

Over the years I have tried to replicate this dish and this is my latest recipe which is still a ‘work in progress’. See my previous Peking Duck post.

Peking Duck
1 whole duck – giblets removed
3 Tbsp 5 spice powder
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp cooking oil
1 star anise (see tip 5)
½ cinnamon stick (see tip 5)
1 Tbsp maltose (optional, see tip 4)
6 garlic cloves

1. Place duck in pot of boiling water and simmer for 5 mins. Remove and allow to cool.

2. While the duck is simmering place all ingredients except the garlic and 1Tbsp of 5 spice power into a pot and bring to the boil. Then allow marinade to cool.

3. Separate the skin of the cooled duck by using an air pump (optional, see tip 1).

separate duck skin using air pump
4. Prick the ducks skin all over using a sharp skewer.

5. Place duck in a strong plastic bag and pour in cooled marinade (pour some in the cavity). Seal the bag end with a tie and place on a tray in the fridge for 24 hours – turn over whenever passing.

6. Remove duck from the bag a couple of hours before cooking and drain marinade from cavity. Save the star anise and cinnamon for later.

7. Place on a wire rack and leave in a sheltered sunny spot to dry (see tip 2).

8. Preheat oven to 180° C

9. Wrap wings, neck, head and drumstick ends with foil to prevent burning.

10 .Dust inside of the cavity with 1 Tbsp of 5 spice and insert the garlic cloves with the saved star anise and cinnamon.

11. Cook for 1½ hours (see tip 3).

12. Serve and enjoy with plum dipping sauce (store bought).

Peking Duck
1. Separating the skin from the fat gives a more crispy and professional result. I use a ball inflating needle attached to an air bed hand pump. Don’t worry if it cannot be done as it is not critical.

2. Allowing the duck to dry out prior to cooking also helps the skin to crispen. I intend to try a longer drying period next time.

3. Cooking time depends on the oven and bird size. Keep a close watch on the duck as you don’t want it to burn. Near the end of cooking, and if it is not too dark, the oven can be turned up (or fan baked) to help crispen the skin.

4. Maltose is optional and I use it to thicken the marinade. If used, place the pot of maltose in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to soften.

5. Instead of whole cinnamon and a star anise you could use 1½ Tbsp ground cinnamon, 1½ Tbsp ground ginger and ½ tsp of ground star anise which is per the original recipe and would give a much stronger flavour – I will try this next time.


Anonymous said...

I found your blog from Uncle Google when I was looking for a siew yoke recipe. I'm goin to bookmark this page, yum yum... those pics make me really really hungry *drools*

Sinner said...


welcome to my blog.

Unknown said...

Hi Sinner,

I have been a silent fan of your site for a very long time! I love your recipes and covet your garden!

I have made this recipe twice and it is amazing! Made it for Christmas for my parents today and they went mad over it!

To save coal (I did it on the Weber), I roasted two ducks at once and have frozen one for another day. Do you have any tips for defrosting the duck? Does it taste as good?

Sinner said...

Hi Rebecca,
Thank you for your compliment. We are glad you and your parents like this Peking duck.

Defrost the roast duck as you would an uncooked one - leave it in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for a few hours. Or defrost in the microwave.

Once defrosted, heat the duck up in the microwave and then to crispen up the skin, put the duck very quickly on your Weber or under the grill in the oven. Watch carefully as it can burn very quickly.

I usually halve my duck before freezing as we can only consume half in one sitting. The duck is defrosted and reheated in the microwave and then the skin given a quick grill in the oven.

Appreciate your feedback :)

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for answering my questions!

Now if only my garden can be 1/8 as wonderful as yours I will be a happy camper!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Jan and live in Indonesia.I love your blog. All resepies are well discribed and with mouth watering pics. Does NZ have a good wine selection at reasonable prices?

Sinner said...

Hi Jan,

Thanks for dropping by. NZ does have a good wine selection. The prices varies from reasonable to high but the reasonably priced ones are just as good.

I like my wine on the fruity side and I am lucky in that these wines are in the cheaper price range.

HK Fan said...

Hi came across yr site after purchasing Peking Duck from the shop. We ate it with some chopped cucumber,spring onions and rice paper as we couldnt find any pancakes w/some commercial plum sauce.
We notice the meat was quite pinkish therefore googled and came across yr site. Yr duck meet looks much whiter? Anyway,have bookmarked yr blogspot and will come back to it often. Thanks. from Hong Kong

Sinner said...

Hi HK Fan,

Welcome to our blog. Yes, the colour of our duck is not that pinkish. Could be different species of duck in different countries ?

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