In China, Peking Duck is considered the National Dish and has been made there for centuries. It is known for its very crispy skin and beautiful caramel color. Making this incredible dish takes a few days. Is it worth it? Absolutely! To get the peking duck just right, you need to go through a few unusual steps. Simply do them, one step at a time, and the end result will be spectacular. The ritual of serving this delicacy is very popular and it is made for every special occasion.
Traditionally, peking duck is served with shredded, crispy skin and the meat is placed in pancakes, then garnished with spring onions, cucumber and hoisin sauce. Also, at the end of the meal, the carcass is used to make a rich and flavorful broth, served over rice and simply known as duck soup.
The recipe calls for a couple ingredients that may be a little difficult to find, so I have included a link for both Maltose which gives the duck that amazing crispy skin and Szechuan pepper which adds authentic Chinese flavor. You may also appreciate having a duck hook to hang it while drying.
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Peking Duck (The National Dish of China) 北京烤鸭
- 1 duck pick up a 3-4 lb. duck at your local Asian market
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 star anise
- 2 teaspoons Szechuan pepper
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons dried orange peel
- 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 cup maltose this is the secret ingredient that makes the skin crispy and caramel in color, you will find it in your Asian market
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ¼ cup dark soy sauce
- Mushu style pancakes
- Hoisen sauce
- 1 cucumber
- 8 spring onions
- Trim the legs and wing of your duck back to the first joint. Remove any fat from the cavity and check for any remaining feather quills and remove them. Slide your finger under the skin and loosen all over. (Alternatively, you can use an air compressor for this step, but the finger works just fine)
- You will need to devise some method to hang your duck over the stove and another location later with a fan. Get creative, I used a plant light stand and a couple of cheap metal skewers for the duck hooks, this is what my contraption looked like.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, large enough to dunk you duck. Add ¾ cups of white vinegar to the boiling water. Plunge the duck into the hot water for 10 seconds and let hang for two minutes. Repeat this process 5 times.
- Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, Grind together the salt, star anise, dried orange peel, ginger, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper and a couple of cloves. Use this as a rub in the cavity of the duck.
- Hang your duck front of a fan or leave it uncovered on a rack in the fridge. This will dry the skin.
- Melt the maltose in a pan with a little water (a couple of tablespoons) and stir in the rice vinegar and dark soy sauce.
- Paint a layer of the glaze on the ducks skin and allow to dry in the air. Repeat this process until you’ve built up a substantial caramelized coating. (The drying can also be done on a rack in the fridge)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- In a roasting pan with a rack, put some boiling water in the bottom and place the duck in the oven. Immediately turn down the oven to 325 degrees. Do not open the oven door for at least the first ten minutes.
- You duck will be perfectly cooked after 1 and ½ hours.
- Remove it, allow it to cool so that the juices settle and the glaze hardens.
- Cut up the duck (I watched a you-tube video on how to do this) so that the skin stays intact with the meat. It should be served in thin shavings with a warm chinese pancake, hoisin or plum sauce, some spring onions and cucumber.
- Save the carcass and make a duck soup.
- This takes a couple days to make but oh my, it is totally worth the trouble…. Delicious!