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22nd December 2016

Ravishing Roast Peking Duck

Cooking Time 60 miutes +

Number of Ingredients 6 to 10

chinatown london-roast duck peking

Crispy, tender, aromatic: there’s a reason why roast Peking duck has been a Chinese culinary mainstay for centuries

Oft seen dangling tantalizingly from the windows of Far Eastern eateries in Chinatown, roast duck is quite literally one of the most famous courses in Chinese cuisine. Whether shredded and slathered in hoi sin, encased in pancakes or eaten from the bone, it’s been a crowd-pleasing favourite since the Yuan Dynasty.

Cooking techniques vary but the hallowed Peking duck’s preparation focuses on dehydration to get the skin super-fine and crispy. Here’s our lip-smacking recipe to create the perfect authentic Peking duck.

chinatown london- cantonese roast duck

Probably the best Cantonese roast duck in Chinatown is served at Four Season triplets on Gerrard Street and Wardour Street.


Step 1. Check the duck for any rogue feather remains and carefully loosen the skin around the bird. This can actually be done by inserting a bicycle pump to blow the skin loose, though it’s not a technique for the faint hearted.

Step 2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and string your duck to the butchers hook. Add the vinegar to the water and remove from heat then plunge the duck in for about 10-15 seconds. Remove, allow to cool for a minute and repeat dunking/cooling process another four times.

Step 3. Coat the duck’s interior with the Chinese five spice

Step 4. Find an inspired place to hang your duck (shower rail? Empty cupboard?) uncovered overnight so it dries out the skin.

chinatown london-roast duck

Time is key in making roast duck. Make sure you give it enough time to absorb all the wonderful flavours.

Step 5. The next day, heat the honey or maltose in a pan along with the mirin, soy and a drop of water then coat a layer on the duck’s skin. Keep adding coats until your duck has a nice glossy sheen.

Step 6. Place the duck on the top shelf of your oven at 150 degrees above a roasting tin of boiling water and allow to cook for one hour and a half – or until it’s golden and crispy.

Step 7. Either shred and serve with pancakes or carve off chunks and plate up slices alongside other tasty dishes like Cantonese fried rice, charred green beans or steamed fish.

You can source all your ingredients from SeeWoo Supermarket, Loon Fung Supermarket and New Loon Moon Supermarket in Chinatown.

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