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Peking Duck: Crispy Skin, Tender Meat

Featuring a glossy, crispy skin and succulent, tender meat, Peking Duck is a cornerstone of Chinese culinary tradition. This Beijing delicacy, with its origins dating back to the imperial era, encapsulates the essence of Chinese gastronomy with its meticulous preparation process and exquisite flavors. The contrast between the duck’s crispy skin and its tender meat, along with the accompanying array of condiments, creates a gastronomic experience that satisfies every palate. Let us take you through the journey of creating this Chinese culinary masterpiece at home.

Peking Duck: Crispy Skin, Tender Meat


  • A whole duck (about 2kg)
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • For the pancakes:
    • 2 cups of plain flour
    • 1 cup of boiling water
    • A pinch of salt
  • For serving:
    • Spring onions, cut into thin strips
    • Cucumber, cut into thin strips
    • Hoisin sauce

Cooking Steps:

  • Begin by rubbing the duck inside and out with the five-spice powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the honey, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce, and heat until warm. Brush this mixture over the duck and let it marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight if possible.
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for about 2 hours, basting it occasionally with the remaining marinade.
  • While the duck is roasting, prepare the pancakes by combining the flour, boiling water, and salt. Knead the dough until smooth, then roll it out and cut into small rounds. Cook these in a hot, dry pan until lightly golden on each side.
  • When the duck is done, let it rest for a few minutes before carving it. Serve the duck with the pancakes, spring onions, cucumber, and hoisin sauce.

In conclusion, Peking Duck is not merely a dish, but a celebration of the harmonious interplay of textures and flavors. The key to a perfect Peking Duck lies in the quality of the ingredients and the precision in the cooking process. Therefore, always choose a fresh duck and quality condiments for the best results. The benefits of this dish are manifold, from the duck that is a good source of protein and iron, to the whole grain pancakes that provide dietary fiber. So, the next time you wish to create an impressive dinner, consider the Peking Duck – a meal that is as delightful to cook as it is to eat.

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