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Chinese Style Duck Recipes: Delicious and Easy to Make

If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine, you're likely familiar with the delicious and flavourful duck dishes that are a staple of this cuisine. Chinese style duck recipes are varied and can range from crispy Peking duck to tender braised duck legs. Whether you're an experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, there's a Chinese duck recipe that will suit your skills and taste preferences.

A whole roasted duck surrounded by traditional Chinese spices and herbs, with steam rising from the dish

When it comes to cooking Chinese style duck, there are a few essential ingredients that you'll need to have on hand. These include soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and Chinese five-spice powder. Depending on the recipe, you may also need Shaoxing wine, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and other ingredients. Duck is a versatile protein that can be paired with a variety of flavours, so don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients to create your own signature Chinese style duck dish.

If you're new to cooking duck, it's important to understand the different cooking techniques that are used in Chinese cuisine. Popular techniques include roasting, braising, and stir-frying. Each technique produces a different texture and flavour profile, so it's worth experimenting with different techniques to find the one that you prefer. Additionally, seafood can be used in some Chinese style duck recipes for an added flavour boost. For example, you can use prawns or scallops in a stir-fry with duck breast for a delicious surf and turf dish.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese style duck recipes are varied and can range from crispy Peking duck to tender braised duck legs.
  • Essential ingredients for Chinese style duck recipes include soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and Chinese five-spice powder.
  • Popular cooking techniques for Chinese style duck include roasting, braising, and stir-frying, and seafood can be used in some recipes for added flavour.

Essential Ingredients

A whole duck marinating in soy sauce, ginger, and five-spice powder, surrounded by fresh green onions and cilantro

When it comes to Chinese-style duck recipes, there are a few essential ingredients that you'll want to make sure you have on hand. These ingredients are used to add flavour and depth to the dish, and are what make these recipes so delicious.

Seasonings and Spices

The following seasonings and spices are commonly used in Chinese-style duck recipes:

  • Salt: Used to enhance the flavour of the duck and bring out its natural juices.
  • Sugar: Used to balance out the saltiness and add a touch of sweetness to the dish.
  • Soy sauce: Used for its umami flavour and to add a rich, savoury taste to the duck.
  • Garlic: Used for its pungent flavour and to add depth to the dish.
  • Ginger: Used for its spicy and fragrant flavour, and to help tenderize the meat.
  • Scallion: Used for its mild onion flavour and to add colour to the dish.
  • Pepper: Used to add a bit of heat and spice to the dish.
  • Five spice: A blend of spices that typically includes cinnamon, star anise, fennel, cloves, and Szechuan peppercorns. Used to add a complex and aromatic flavour to the dish.
  • Honey: Used to add sweetness and a sticky glaze to the duck.
  • Sesame oil: Used for its nutty flavour and to add richness to the dish.
  • Shaoxing wine: A Chinese rice wine that is used to add depth of flavour to the dish.
  • Star anise: Used to add a licorice-like flavour to the dish.
  • Oyster sauce: Used for its umami flavour and to add a rich, savoury taste to the duck.
  • Dark soy sauce: Used for its colour and to add a rich, savoury flavour to the dish.
  • Light soy sauce: Used for its saltiness and to add a savoury flavour to the dish.
  • White pepper: Used to add a bit of heat and spice to the dish.

Duck Preparation Essentials

Preparing the duck properly is key to making a delicious Chinese-style duck dish. Here are a few essential steps to follow:

  • Clean the duck: Make sure to clean the duck thoroughly and remove any excess fat or skin.
  • Score the skin: Use a sharp knife to score the skin in a criss-cross pattern. This will help the fat render out and the skin to crisp up.
  • Marinate the duck: Marinate the duck in a mixture of seasonings and spices for at least a few hours, or overnight. This will help to infuse the meat with flavour and tenderize it.
  • Roast the duck: Roast the duck in the oven until the skin is crispy and golden brown, and the meat is cooked through. Baste the duck with its own juices and glaze it with honey or soy sauce for added flavour.
  • Serve the duck: Serve the duck with steamed rice, sliced scallions, and a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. You can also add seafood to the dish, such as prawns or scallops, for an extra touch of flavour and texture.

By following these essential steps and using the right ingredients, you can create a delicious Chinese-style duck dish that will impress your friends and family.

Duck Cooking Techniques

A whole duck being marinated in soy sauce, ginger, and spices before being roasted in a traditional Chinese oven

When it comes to cooking duck, there are several techniques you can use to achieve a delicious, flavourful dish. Here are some tips to help you perfect your Chinese-style duck recipe.

Roasting Methods

Roasting is one of the most popular methods for cooking duck, and there are several ways to do it. One common method is to roast the duck in an oven, which can give you a crispy skin and juicy meat. To achieve this, you can marinate the duck with a mixture of spices and refrigerate it for several hours or overnight. When it's time to cook, you can preheat the oven to 220°C and roast the duck for around 1-1.5 hours, depending on the size of the bird.

Another roasting method is to hang the duck up to dry for several hours before roasting it. This can help to achieve a crispy skin and tender meat. To do this, you can boil some water and pour it over the duck before hanging it up to dry. Once it's dry, you can roast the duck in an oven or over an open flame.

Marinating Tips

Marinating the duck is an important step in Chinese-style cooking, as it can help to infuse the meat with flavour and tenderize it. You can use a variety of spices and seasonings to marinate the duck, such as soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and Chinese five-spice powder. It's best to marinate the duck for several hours or overnight to allow the flavours to fully penetrate the meat.

If you want to add a seafood twist to your recipe, you can try marinating the duck with some shrimp paste or fish sauce. This can give the meat a unique umami flavour and make it even more delicious.

Achieving Crispy Skin

One of the keys to a great Chinese-style duck recipe is achieving crispy skin. To do this, you can use a few different techniques. One is to hang the duck up to dry before roasting it, as mentioned above. Another is to brush the duck with a mixture of cooking oil and honey or maltose syrup before roasting it. This can help to give the skin a crispy, golden-brown finish.

To remove excess fat from the duck, you can use a fat separator or freeze the duck and then remove the fat once it's solidified. This can help to make the dish healthier and prevent the skin from becoming too greasy.

By following these tips and techniques, you can create a delicious Chinese-style duck recipe that's sure to impress your guests.

Popular Duck Dishes

A table set with various Chinese-style duck dishes, including Peking duck, crispy duck, and duck pancakes, surrounded by chopsticks and dipping sauces

When it comes to Chinese cuisine, duck is a popular ingredient that is used in various dishes. Here are some of the most popular duck dishes that you can try out:

Peking Duck

Peking Duck is a famous dish that originated in Beijing. It is a roasted duck that is served with thin pancakes, scallions, and sweet bean sauce. The skin of the duck is crispy, while the meat is tender and juicy. Peking Duck is a must-try dish for anyone who loves Chinese food.

Cantonese Roast Duck

Cantonese Roast Duck is another popular dish that you can find in most Chinese restaurants. The duck is roasted until the skin is crispy and the meat is tender. It is usually served with plum sauce, soy sauce, or hoisin sauce. Cantonese Roast Duck is a delicious dish that you can enjoy with your family and friends.

Other Duck Delicacies

Apart from Peking Duck and Cantonese Roast Duck, there are other duck delicacies that you can try out. Chinese Roast Duck is a dish that is similar to Cantonese Roast Duck, but it is seasoned with different spices. Chinese Braised Duck is a dish that is slow-cooked in a soy sauce-based broth until the meat is tender. Soy Sauce Chicken is a dish that is made with chicken, but it can also be made with duck. Muscovy Duck is a type of duck that is known for its tender meat and can be used in various recipes.

If you want to add some seafood to your duck dish, you can try adding prawns or scallops. Prawns can be added to Chinese Braised Duck, while scallops can be added to Cantonese Roast Duck. However, make sure that the seafood is fresh and of good quality before adding it to your dish.

Accompaniments and Sides

A table set with steamed buns, pickled vegetables, and hoisin sauce next to a succulent roasted duck

When it comes to Chinese-style duck recipes, the right accompaniments and sides can make all the difference. Here are some suggestions for pairing your duck dish with delicious sides that will complement its rich, savoury flavours.

Pancakes and Buns

Mandarin pancakes and lotus leaf buns are two popular options for serving with duck. These soft, fluffy breads are perfect for soaking up the rich juices from your duck, and they add a satisfying texture to every bite. You can also try pairing your duck with egg noodles for a more substantial meal.

Vegetable Pairings

Napa cabbage, scallions, cucumber and bean sprouts are all great options for pairing with your duck. These fresh, crunchy vegetables add a refreshing contrast to the rich, savoury flavours of the duck. You can also try stir-frying some vegetables with garlic and ginger for a more flavourful side dish.

Sauces and Condiments

Hoisin sauce, bean sauce, and plum sauce are all delicious condiments that pair well with duck. These sweet and savoury sauces add depth and complexity to the dish, and they're perfect for dipping your pancakes or buns in. You can also try serving your duck with a side of seafood sauce for a more tangy and refreshing flavour.

When it comes to seafood, shrimp and scallops are two great options for pairing with your duck. These delicate flavours complement the rich, savoury flavours of the duck nicely, and they add a satisfying texture to every bite. So, don't hesitate to try them out in your recipe.

Overall, there are many different sides and accompaniments that can work well with Chinese-style duck recipes. Whether you prefer soft, fluffy breads or fresh, crunchy vegetables, there's sure to be a combination that will satisfy your taste buds. So, get creative and experiment with different flavours and textures to find the perfect pairing for your next duck dish.

Serving and Presentation

A whole roasted duck on a platter with garnishes and steamed buns on the side

Carving and Plating

When it comes to serving Chinese-style duck, presentation is key. The most common way to serve Chinese-style duck is to carve it into thin slices and serve it with pancakes, scallions, cucumber, and hoisin sauce. To carve the duck, you can start by removing the legs and wings, then separating the breast from the bone. Once you have the breast meat separated, you can slice it thinly and arrange it on a platter. The legs and wings can be served whole or cut into smaller pieces.

To plate the duck, you can arrange the sliced breast meat in a fan shape on a large platter, with the legs and wings placed at the bottom. You can then garnish the platter with scallions and cucumber, and serve the hoisin sauce on the side. Alternatively, you can serve the duck in individual portions, with each plate featuring a few slices of duck, a pancake, and a small dish of hoisin sauce.

Cultural Serving Traditions

In Chinese cuisine, the presentation of a dish is just as important as its taste. When serving Chinese-style duck, it is important to follow certain cultural traditions to show respect for the dish and its history. For example, in Cantonese-style cooking, the duck is often served with the head and feet intact, as a symbol of completeness and respect for the animal. In Peking-style cooking, the duck is traditionally served with the skin facing up, to show off its crispy texture.

When dining at Chinese restaurants, you may notice that the duck is often carved tableside by the server. This is a traditional way of serving the dish, and it allows the diners to see the carving process up close. Additionally, some Peking duck restaurants will serve the leftover duck bones as a soup or broth, to make use of the entire animal.

If you want to add a unique twist to your Chinese-style duck recipe, you can consider incorporating seafood into the dish. For example, you could serve the duck with a side of stir-fried shrimp or scallops, or you could stuff the duck with a seafood-based stuffing. Just be sure to choose seafood that complements the flavours of the duck, such as prawns or crab.

Frequently Asked Questions

A chef expertly slices a succulent Peking duck, surrounded by traditional Chinese cooking ingredients and utensils

How can I make a simple Chinese-style duck at home?

Making a simple Chinese-style duck at home is easier than you think. One of the easiest ways to make Chinese-style duck is to roast it in the oven. To achieve a crispy skin, you can use a combination of spices like five-spice powder, salt, and pepper. You can also marinate the duck in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and ginger to infuse it with flavour. For a more authentic taste, you can use maltose or honey to glaze the duck before roasting.

What's the secret to a crispy Chinese duck skin?

The secret to a crispy Chinese duck skin is to dry it thoroughly before roasting. You can do this by leaving the duck uncovered in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. You can also use a hairdryer to dry the skin quickly. Another trick is to prick the skin with a fork or toothpick to allow the fat to render out during cooking.

Which duck breed is preferred for authentic Chinese duck dishes?

The most popular duck breed for authentic Chinese duck dishes is the Pekin duck. This breed is known for its tender meat and crispy skin. However, you can also use other breeds of duck like Muscovy or Mallard if you prefer.

Can you share a traditional Peking duck recipe?

Sure, here's a traditional Peking duck recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole Pekin duck
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tbsp maltose
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 piece ginger, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce for serving

Instructions:

  1. Clean and dry the duck thoroughly.
  2. Mix together honey, soy sauce, rice wine, maltose, five-spice powder, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper to make a marinade.
  3. Rub the marinade all over the duck and let it marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
  5. Place the duck on a wire rack over a drip pan and roast for 45 minutes.
  6. Brush the duck with the remaining marinade and roast for another 30 minutes.
  7. Increase the temperature to 425°F/220°C and roast for another 15 minutes to achieve a crispy skin.
  8. Let the duck rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  9. Serve with pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce.

What are the key differences between Peking and Cantonese roast duck?

The key difference between Peking and Cantonese roast duck is the seasoning. Peking duck is traditionally seasoned with a mixture of soy sauce, maltose, and five-spice powder, while Cantonese roast duck is seasoned with a mixture of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and honey. Peking duck is also typically served with thin pancakes, scallions, and hoisin sauce, while Cantonese roast duck is often served with a sweet plum sauce.

What are some famous duck dishes from China?

Some famous duck dishes from China include Peking duck, Cantonese roast duck, and Sichuan spicy duck. Another popular dish is braised duck with bean paste, which is a savoury and flavourful dish that is often served with steamed buns or rice. For a seafood twist, you can also try making a seafood and duck hotpot, which combines tender duck meat with fresh seafood like shrimp, scallops, and squid.