Peking Duck Two Ways – A Simpler and Faster Homemade Peking Duck

All the flavour and none of the hassle. This recipe will show you how to make Peking Duck at home in no time!


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Duck breasts
  • Five-spice (A self made fresh five-spice mix can be found down below)
  • A thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ cucumber thinly sliced
  • A few spring onions finely sliced
  • 2 Rice pancakes- available from your local Oriental shop (if you want to go all out you can find a recipe for homemade pancakes down below)
  • Hoisin sauce to serve (recipe for home made Hoisin can be found down below)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 170º. Season the duck well, inside and out, dust all over with five-spice and grated ginger and massage into the skin
  2. Place the duck in a roasting tray and put it in the oven. All you need to do is check on it every so often and spoon away the excess fat that has rendered out of the duck. This will make the skin go wonderfully crispy. Generally, after a couple of hours it will be perfect – the leg meat will pull off the bone and the skin will be wonderfully crisp. You don’t always need to, but I sometimes turn the heat up to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6 for a short while until it’s really crispy
  3. As for the spring onions and cucumber, that’s straightforward. Use half a cucumber and a bunch of spring onions and finely slice them. I strongly advise buying a couple of packs of pre-made pancakes, which you can place in a steamer or microwave and slowly steam until nice and hot. The bamboo steamers are only a few quid from Chinese supermarkets, so it’s worth getting hold of some and they’re great to serve at the table
  4. Once the duck has cooled a little bit, use two forks to shred all the meat off the carcass. I remember the Chinese lady at the restaurant in Sawbridgeworth doing this. You can do the same, putting all the meat with its crispy skin on to a serving plate. Take a pancake, place some duck, a bit of spring onion, a little cucumber and a dollop of plum sauce on to it, then roll it up – lovely
  5. Enjoy!

FRESH FIVE SPICE MIX

INGREDIENTS

  • 5g Cinnamon
  • 1 Clove
  • 3 Star anise
  • 5g Ginger
  • Salt
  • Szechuan pepper
  • ½ An orange peel

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a pestle and mortar, grind the star anise, orange peel, ginger, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper (or regular pepper), the clove and a pinch of salt until a fine powder
  2. Keep in an air-tight jar

HOISIN SAUCE

INGREDIENTS

  • Thumb size piece of fresh ginger
  • 12 de-stoned plums or 10 dried plums
  • 5 Tbsp. Brown sugar, stevia, honey, molasses or any other choice of sweetener
  • A couple of pinches of five-spice (for which you can find the recipe just above)
  • ½ Tsp. Chilli powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
  • Lemon, zested

DIRECTIONS

  1. If making your own Hoisin sauce you can use fresh, de-stoned plums or when these are out of season use dried plums.
  2. Take about 10 dried plums or 12 fresh plums; put them into a pan with 4 tablespoons of your sweetener of choice. Add a good couple of pinches store bought five-spice or the self made version, a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce (soy sauce light can be used as a healthier option to reduce salt), half a teaspoon of chilli powder and just a little water.
  3. Slowly bring this to the boil, and then simmer until it forms a nice smooth liquid. You can remove the plum skins or quickly whisk in a food processor to make a smooth sauce.
  4. For a little kick some lemon or orange zest can be added to the sauce

PANCAKE RECIPE

  • 450g Rice flour
  • 310 ml Water, boiling
  • 1 Tsp. Oil (preferably vegetable oil)
  • A little sesame oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl stir the boiling water into the flour, add in the oil and knead until smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a damp towel or cling film and set aside in a cool place for 30 mins.
  2. Divide the dough into approx. 25-30 pieces and roll each piece into a ball and press down using the palm or your hand or something with a smooth, flat surface. Roll pancakes out with a rolling pin to about 10 cm.
  3. Brush the individual pancakes with sesame oil and place on top of the next.
  4. Cook the pancakes one by one in a preheated and un-greased pan until golden on both sides. Turn as little as possible to avoid breakage
  5. Place cooked pancakes in a fridge covered in a damp cloth. About 5-10 minutes before serving, steam the pancakes over boiling water.

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