National Dish of China Peking Duck
|whole plump duck (weighing approximately 1.2 kg)||1|
|granulated sugar||5 tbsps.|
|minced ginger||1 ½ tbsps.|
|soy sauce||2 tbsps.|
|chili powder||½ tsp.|
|orange zest||1 tbsp.|
|bunch spring onions||1|
|packs pre-made Chinese pancakes||2|
|Chinese five-spice powder|
Considered one of China’s national dishes, Peking Duck is a whole roast duck seasoned with Chinese spices. There are a few methods to prepare this dish including roasting the duck over an open flame and pumping air between the skin and meat. Traditionally, it is skillfully carved into slices each having a bit of crispy skin attached to the meat. Peking duck is eaten with soft Chinese pancakes. The origins of this succulent duck dish can be traced back to the Yuan Dynasty when Mongol emperors ruled China and domesticated ducks were abundant.
Direction for Preparing Peking Duck
- The duck should be plucked, gutted and washed before preparing it for a meal.
- Start preparing the Peking Duck by generously rubbing the duck inside and out with salt.
- Sprinkle a bit of Chinese five-spice seasoning over the skin. Rub the duck with some minced ginger and deposit any extra ginger inside the body cavity.
- Get a large roasting pan and arrange the duck on it, breast side up.
- Preheat the oven to 325° F, then place the pan into the oven.
- Bake the duck for two hours, monitoring occasionally and removing any excess fat that accumulates in the pan. This will cause the duck’s skin to become quite crispy. For extra crispiness, turn up the oven to 400° F and bake for a few minutes more.
Make a plum sauce to go with the Peking Duck.
- Combine the pitted plums, sugar, two pinches of Chinese five-spice powder, soy sauce, chili powder and a little water in a saucepan and bring to a boil
- Let it simmer until the plums soften and turn into pulp. The plum skins can be removed from the sauce.
- Stir in a tablespoon of orange zest.
- Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Carve the duck into thin slices.
- Slice the bunch of spring onions and the cucumber.
- Steam the pre-made Chinese pancakes or microwave them.
- Spread a dollop of plum sauce onto a cooked pancake, add cucumber slices and spring onions, and then place a few slices of duck on top.
- Save and enjoy the Peking Duck and pancakes.
Duck has been roasted in China since the Southern and Northern Dynasties. A deviation of roast duck was arranged for the Emperor of China in the Yuan Dynasty. The dish, originally named “shāo yāzi”, was mentioned in the Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages manual in 1330 by Hu Sihui, an inspector of the imperial kitchen.