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The Hirshon Beijing Duck - 北京烤鸭

The Hirshon Beijing Duck – 北京烤鸭

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 1 5 1/2 pound Pekin duck – innards removed, but save the gizzard
  • Marinade:
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. 5 spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup maltose syrup (preferred) or honey
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ***
  • Seasoning:
  • 2 tbsp. peeled ginger root
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ***
  • Glaze:
  • 1 tbsp. malt sugar
  • 1 tsp. Chinese red vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Chinese red rice wine
  • ***
  • One 16ounce tall boy of beer, emptied and refilled half way with water and Shaoxing wine
  • ***
  • Mandarin Pancakes:
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (about 5 ounces) boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • ***
  • Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soybean paste
  • 3 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. peanut oil
  • ***
  • 22 Mandarin Pancakes, or use crepes
  • 22 pieces of scallion, 2 inches long, white part only
  • 2 fresh red fresno chili peppers, sliced into 1/16th inch rings, seeds discarded (optional)
  • Peeled cucumbers, sliced into matchsticks
  • ***
  • For the third course – Peking Duck Bone Soup:
  • For the broth:
  • Bones from 1 Peking duck
  • Carcass, neck, gizzard,
  • Wings, leg & thigh bones
  • 1 Scallion
  • 1 thick slice of Ginger
  • ***
  • Soup:
  • 1 lb Celery cabbage – (ch’ing tsai)
  • 2 oz Dried bean thread – (bean vermicelli)
  • Water
  • 2 tb Oil
  • 2 slices Ginger
  • 1/2 tb Salt
  • 1/2 ts MSG (optional)
  • 6 cups Peking duck bone broth
  • – from above (if there’s not enough, add chicken broth)
  • 2 oz Chinese or Smithfield ham – slivered
  • 1 Duck gizzard, sliced thin


  1. Dry duck carefully with paper towels and place on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Using fingers or dull handle of a wooden spoon, carefully separate skin from breast meat by inserting fingers through bottom of breasts and slowly working your way up. Be careful not to tear skin.
  3. Combine maltose and soy sauce with 1 tablespoon water in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until maltose is softened, about 20 seconds. Stir together mixture with spoon until homogeneous.
  4. Spoon mixture over duck and rub over entire surface, making sure to coat all exposed skin. Combine all other marinade ingredients in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over all surfaces of duck. Refrigerate duck, uncovered, at least 12 and up to 36 hours until surface is completely dry with leathery appearance.
  5. Put the spices inside the duck and close it with a small skewer. Plunge the duck into fiercely boiling water for 5 seconds (be careful!) remove, and immediately plunge into iced water for 5 seconds to stop the cooking.
  6. Remove the duck and dry it. Mix the ingredients for the glaze and paint the duck with it. This will give the finished duck its succulent, dark red sheen.
  7. The duck is now hung up to dry in a cool place for 6 hours or so (TFD note: try putting it in front of a fan and rotate the duck throughout the drying period – do NOT attempt to make this recipe on any day with high humidity – it will ruin the dish!)
  8. To make the green onion bunches, deeply cut the scallions 6 times at each end in a crosshatch pattern. Put the green onions into iced water and keep in the refrigerator until the ends curl. Drain well before use and optionally slip a ring of chili pepper over each end.
  9. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce, with the exception of the 1 tbsp. of peanut oil. Heat the oil in a pan, pour in the mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  10. Adjust rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 350°F.
  11. Open the skewered cavity of the duck. Stand duck vertically by inserting beer can into cavity and place on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. You may need to break or remove the duck’s tail to get it to stand.
  12. Roast, rotating after 30 minutes until skin is a deep mahogany, about 1 hour. Reduce heat to 250, add reserved duck gizzard to pan and continue roasting until fat stops dripping from cavity, about 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove duck from beer can and transfer to cutting board. Allow to rest 10 minutes before carving.
  13. Remove the duck from the oven, heat ¾ cup of additional peanut oil to VERY HOT in a pot, and then carefully pour it over the duck.
  14. Using a very sharp knife, carefully remove the skin from the breast, sides and back of the duck. Cut the skin into pieces approximately 1 ½ – 2 inches in size, carefully removing all the fat with the knife. (TFD note: Reserve the fat for another use – sauteed vegetables in this fat are stunningly good, for example).
  15. For the Pancakes:
  16. Combine flour and boiling water in medium bowl and stir with wooden spoon until shaggy dough forms. Turn out on floured countertop and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cut dough into 24 even pieces about 1 tablespoon each. Cover with damp towel.
  17. On floured surface, roll one piece of dough into three-inch circle. Repeat with second ball. Using pastry brush, coat top of first ball with thin film of sesame oil. Place second ball on top of first. Roll balls together into 8 to 10-inch circle (the thinner the better).
  18. Preheat heavy-bottomed 12-inch cast iron or non-stick griddle pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Place pancakes on griddle and cook until lightly browned in spots on first side, about 1 minute. Flip and repeat on second sides, about 30 seconds longer.
  19. Transfer to plate lined with clean kitchen towel and carefully peel pancakes apart. Fold towel over cooked pancakes to keep warm and repeat with remaining dough balls.
  20. To serve the first course, arrange a piece of skin on a mandarin pancake, add a green onion bunch, a piece of cucumber and spread with some sauce, fold and eat.
  21. For the second course, the meat is traditionally stir-fried with bean sprouts in a lightly-flavored sauce, usually chicken stock flavored with ginger and a bit of Shaoxing rice wine, with perhaps a few vegetable coins thrown in for color and thickened with a bit of cornstarch combined with chicken stock and mixed before adding this into the wok.
  22. For the third course:
  23. Cut cabbage across into 1 – 1.5″ chunks (these will separate on cooking). Soak bean thread in water until soft, then cut into 6″ lengths.
  24. Simmer in water to cover for 45 min: bones from 1 Peking duck: carcass, neck, gizzard (which had been roasted with the duck), wings, leg and thigh bones. Season with 1 scallion and 1 slice ginger.
  25. Heat oil in a soup kettle. Add ginger, salt, and cabbage. Stir-fry 1 min. Add all remaining ingredients except bean thread, gizzard, and MSG (if used).
  26. Cover and cook until cabbage is tender, 3 min or so. Bring soup to a boil, add bean thread, gizzard, and MSG. Turn heat off. Serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours