I know that this recipe looks frightening at first sight. But really, it’s very simple and not that much work. (check the summary at the end of this post) Most preparations are done hours before you eat. It’s fun to do, it’s fun to serve and fun to eat. I’m sure your guests will be impressed. Follow this step-by-step manual and you can’t go wrong.
1. BUY THE DUCK
Buy a frozen duck from your oriental supermarket.
2. DEFROST THE DUCK
Slowly defrost the duck in your refrigerator. This will take at lease one and a half day. Don’t freak out by the phallus thing you’ll find inside. It’s its neck. You can use it later, together with the carcass, to make duck stock. Check if the giblets are in there somewhere too. Although there weren’t any in mine.
3. BATH THE DUCK
Give it a bath to wash it nice and clean.
4. DRY THE DUCK
Let it drip dry.
5. SEW THE DUCKBUTT
6. SCALD THE DUCK
Scald the duck in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes to thighten the skin. Or if you don’t have a big enough pan you can put it over the sink, on a rack and pour boiling water over it until the skin thightens.
7. DRY THE DUCK
Drip and pat dry. See how much better the skin looks already.
The maltose needs to soften a little bit. So you have to heat the marinade until everything mixes well. Instead of maltose you can also use honey.
9. GLAZE THE DUCK
Spoon the marinade over the duck so everything gets coated. You can then wait a minute to repeat this a couple of times if you want.
10. HANG THE DUCK
You can hang your duck in a cool, dry, drafty place for 6-12 hours. Or if you don’t have such a place, like me, you can hang it in front of a ventilator for about 4-5 hours. The skin will become dry and feel like parchment.
11. ROAST THE DUCK
Preheat the oven to 240°C.
Place the duck breastside down on roasting rack set, which is placed on a baking tray, filled with some water. (so the dripping/marinade won’t burn)
Roast it for 15 minutes at 240°C.
Turn it breastside up, lower the heat to 180°C
Roast it for another 70 minutes at 180°C
Be sure to check regularly and add some tinfoil if you think it’s getting too dark. Even better, buy a thermometer to check the temperature inside the duck.
13. PREPARE CONDIMENTS
Open a jar of sauce. I’ve tried 3 of them. Plum sauce, hoisin sauce and peking duck sauce. I only remember I didn’t like the plumsauce, but I can’t remember which of the other two I preferred. Then besides that I’ve learned another option: sweet bean paste, maybe diluted with a little shaoxing ricewine.
Next you need to cut some spring onion and cucumber into juilienne strips. And finally you need to steam some readymade peking duck pancakes. You can find in the freezer of any oriental supermarket.
14. SERVE THE DUCK.
Put everything on your table.
The idea is simple, just compose a pancake with some sauce, cucumber, spring onion and slices of duck and roll it up.
SUMMARY (to prove it really is quite simple)
- Defrost and wash duck
- Close openings (sew or skewers)
- Scald and pat dry
- Coat with marinade of:
1,25 l water
6 T maltose
4 T dark soy sauce
3 T shaoxing ricewine
2 T black rice vinegar
- Dry in front of ventilator for at least 4 hours
- Roast it 15 minutes at 240°C, breastside down
Roast it 70 minutes at 180°C, breastside up
- Cut cucumber and spring onion
- Open saucejar
- Steam pancakes
- Serve and eat!