Apr 17, 2017

Faux Peking Duck

Non-traditional peking duck served like Asian tacos with Mandarin style pancakes, a bit of hoisin and topped with cucumber and green onions.

jump toRECIPE

One of my Chinese favorites made with a twist for a more “at home” version. I serve this peking duck recipe with Mandarin style pancakes, a bit of hoisin and topped with cucumber and green onions. They’re like Asian duck tacos, and I think I could eat them almost every day. I crave that crispy, golden skin and tender meat.

While authentic peking duck takes a lot of time as air has to be pumped under the skin, this is my (relatively) sped up and simplified version also with crispy skin. Adding the boiling water over the duck makes the skin shrink up and tighten. Then using your finger to separate the skin from the meat recreates the method of pumping air under the skin. The steam from the hot water will make the duck dry out again. While I roast the duck using a non-traditional method, I serve it with more traditional pairings.

“Faux” Peking Duck

What is Peking Duck?

Peking duck is a dish that originated in Beijing, China with first mentions of the dish tracing back to the 13th century. Peking ducks are now traditionally cooked in an oven called a gualu, which allows the ducks to hang inside to cook. This it the method which can often be seen in windows around Chinatown, NY.

Process for Traditional Peking Duck

Typically the duck is slaughtered and seasoned with a maltose/ soy glaze then hung to dry overnight. On day 2 the skin is separated from the meat like a balloon (whereas I use my fingers). The duck is then blanched in boiling water to tighten the skin and once again hung and left to dry overnight once more, On the final day the duck is roasted upright in a brick oven and served. Because of the complex preparation many restaurants require advance notice for ordering peking duck so they have time to make it.

faux peking duck spread

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

Duck

Pekin duck is used in this recipe. American Pekin duck is mallard derived from breeds in China. While it can often be difficult to find whole duck (and traditionally the duck is prepared with the head attached), I lucked out and found Tasty Duck on the Internet and they who sent me whole ducks to use! They will even send it to your house!

If you can’t find whole duck, the same preparation can be used for four duck breasts, which can be located much more easily. Roast for about 25 minutes instead, the internal temperature should still read 135ºF.

Chinese five-spice

This fragrant, warm seasoning blend is made from a mix of Chinese cinnamon, fennel seed, star anise, cloves and either ginger, white peppercorns or Sichuan peppercorns (depending on the blend and area of China).

Brown sugar

I use dark brown sugar in this recipe which refers to the amount of molasses in the sugar. Dark brown sugar contains about 6.5% molasses (in comparison to 3.5% in light brown sugar). Be sure to tightly pack the brown sugar in a measuring cup to get an accurate measurement.

Soy sauce

I use reduced sodium soy sauce so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe, adding more if needed.

faux peking duck with mandarin pancakes, hoisin, scallions and cucumber

How to Make This “Faux” Peking Duck Recipe at Home

  1. Prep the duck. Rinse the duck and pat it completely dry. Remove the neck and giblets and discard. Remove excess fat and discard. Prick the skin of the duck all over with a fork, particularly around the breast.
  2. Make the seasoning. In a small bowl whisk together the baking soda, salt, pepper, 5-spice powder, soy sauce and brown sugar. The mixture will fizz. Rub the mixture all over the duck then place on a plate and refrigerate, uncovered, and let dry overnight.
  3. Separate the skin from the meat. The next day, use your fingers to gently separate the skin of the duck from the meat. Pat the duck completely dry with paper towels inside and out.
  4. Blanch the duck. Bring a quart of water to a boil. Place a duck on a roasting rack over the sink. Blanch the duck with the boiling water by pouring it over it. The skin will tighten and dry out more.
  5. Roast the duck covered. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place the duck on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and prick the duck again.
  6. Roast uncovered. Continue roasting, uncovered, until the juices run slightly pink when pricked in the thickest part of the thigh (the internal temperature should read 135ºF), about 40 to 45 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
  7. Serve. Carve the duck and serve with the pancakes, hoisin, cucumber and green onions.
faux peking duck with mandarin pancakes, hoisin, scallions and cucumber closeup

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this crispy peking duck recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

peking duck pancake with scallions and cucumber

“Faux” Peking Duck

Ingredients:

  • 1 (5-6 pound) whole duck, preferably Long Island Pekin
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • Mandarin-style pancakes
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 bunch green onions, julienned
  • 1 large English cucumber, peeled and julienned

Instructions:

  • Rinse the duck and pat it completely dry. Remove the neck and giblets and discard. Remove excess fat and discard. Prick the skin of the duck all over with a fork, particularly around the breast.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the baking soda, salt, pepper, 5-spice powder, soy sauce and brown sugar. The mixture will fizz. Rub the mixture all over the duck then place on a plate and refrigerate, uncovered, and let dry overnight.
  • The next day, use your fingers to gently separate the skin of the duck from the meat. Pat the duck completely dry with paper towels inside and out.
  • Bring a quart of water to a boil. Place a duck on a roasting rack over the sink. Blanch the duck with the boiling water by pouring it over it. The skin will tighten and dry out more.
  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Place the duck on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and prick the duck again.
  • Continue roasting, uncovered, until the juices run slightly pink when pricked in the thickest part of the thigh (the internal temperature should read 135ºF/ 57ºC), about 40 to 45 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Carve the duck and serve with the pancakes, hoisin, cucumber and green onions.

DID YOU MAKE THIS?

TAG ME ON INSTAGRAM TO BE FEATURED ON MY STORIES! @cookingwithcocktailrings

Rate + Review

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS RECIPE?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating