How to Prepare Peking Duck

Peking Duck in slices on a plate.

Peking Duck is a Chinese delicacy known for its crispy skin, succulent meat, and the ritualistic method of preparation. This recipe provides step-by-step instructions on how to prepare Peking Duck at home, creating a delicious meal for six people.

If you like, you can use the Hoisin sauce recipe in another article.

Ingredients

For the Duck:

  • 1 whole Peking duck (around 5-6 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups boiling water (for blanching)

For the Pancakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

For the Hoisin Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

For Serving:

  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Cucumber strips

Equipment:

  • A large pot for boiling water
  • A brush for applying the honey mixture
  • A wire rack for air-drying the duck
  • A roasting pan with a rack
  • Bamboo or metal skewers for hanging the duck
  • A brush for applying the soy sauce mixture
  • Steamer for pancakes
  • A rolling pin for flattening pancakes

Preparation

Preparing the Duck:

  1. Clean and Dry the Duck:
    • Rinse the duck thoroughly inside and out. Pat it dry with paper towels, ensuring the skin is dry. Place the duck on a wire rack to air-dry for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare the Honey Mixture:
    • In a small bowl, mix honey, Chinese five-spice powder, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, and salt to create a glaze.
  3. Blanch the Duck:
    • In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Carefully pour the boiling water over the duck to blanch the skin. Repeat this process 2-3 times until the skin tightens.
  4. Apply the Honey Glaze:
    • Using a brush, evenly coat the duck with the honey mixture, ensuring it reaches all parts of the skin. Hang the duck in a cool, dry place to air-dry for another 2 hours.
  5. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  6. Roast the Duck:
    • Place the duck on a roasting pan with a rack, breast-side up. Roast in the preheated oven for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the skin is crispy and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

Preparing the Pancakes:

  1. Mix the Pancake Dough:
    • In a bowl, gradually add boiling water to the flour, stirring continuously until a dough forms. Knead the dough until smooth. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide and Roll the Dough:
    • Divide the dough into small balls. Roll each ball into a thin pancake using a rolling pin. Brush each pancake lightly with sesame oil.
  3. Steam the Pancakes:
    • Steam the pancakes for 3-5 minutes until they are cooked through and flexible.
  4. Stack the Pancakes:
    • Stack the steamed pancakes and keep them warm with a clean kitchen towel.

Making the Hoisin Sauce:

  1. Prepare the Hoisin Sauce:
    • In a small bowl, mix hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil to create a flavorful dipping sauce.

Serving Peking Duck:

  1. Slice and Assemble:
    • Carve the crispy duck into thin slices, including skin and meat. Serve the slices on warm pancakes, along with hoisin sauce, sliced green onions, and cucumber strips.
  2. Wrap and Enjoy:
    • To eat, place a slice of duck on a pancake, add hoisin sauce, green onions, and cucumber strips. Fold the pancake like a taco and enjoy this delightful Peking Duck creation.

Experience the culinary elegance of Peking Duck with this homemade recipe. Delight in the crispy skin, tender meat, and the harmonious combination of flavors as you share this authentic Chinese dish with friends and family.

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