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The Hirshon Cantonese Roast Goose - 燒鵝

The Hirshon Cantonese Roast Goose – 燒鵝

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  • Author: The Generalissimo


Units Scale
  • 1 8-10 lb. young goose (weight before removing giblets, neck)
  • Several small metal skewers (if grilling)
  • ***
  • Marinade:
  • Combine equal parts oyster sauce, sweet bean paste, and ground scallion, 1/4 part sugar, 1/4 part 13-spice powder, 1/2 part garlic paste, 1/2 part ginger paste
  • ***
  • For the skin-tightening dip:
  • 6 cups water
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup maltose
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 black cardamom, crushed or split
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/8 cup Chinese black vinegar
  • Several thick slices of lightly-smashed ginger
  • 4 Tbsp. Dried tangerine peel (Zest-only fresh orange peel also works)
  • ***
  • Crispy Skin Water – combine white vinegar (280g), maltose (70g), Chinese red vinegar (30g), rose water (30g)
  • Hot Water
  • ***
  • Dipping Sauce (per person):
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil (TFD endorses only Kadoya brand!)
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. shaoxing wine (preferred) or dry sherry
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • ***
  • If grilling:
  • Peach wood smoking chips, soaked in water for one hour
  • Hardwood charcoal


  1. Once the goose is defrosted (if frozen), trim off the excess flaps of fat at the neck and reserve, and tip the wings, as the extreme ends of these are virtually useless and will char in the oven. Save all these for broth making and extracting the delicious fat!
  2. Remove the neck and pack of giblets from the cavity – these can be used as you see fit (I’m talking goose stock here, Citizens!). If you have access to a bicycle pump, pump the goose full of air through the neck hole, with a clip pinching the back end of the goose closed so the air can swell the bird. This is an optional but strongly-recommended step!
  3. Combine the skin-tightening dip ingredients into a large pot and heat to boiling.
  4. Combine marinade ingredients, smear it throughly on the interior of the goose.
  5. Once the interior of the goose has been throughly coated with the marinade, shove a clean wine or brandy bottle (labels removed, please) into the rear of the bird, then set it upright so that no part of the skin needs to touch anything.
  6. Put the bird, bottle and all, into a very clean sink in a disposable foil pan.
  7. CAREFULLY ladle the boiling hot liquid over the bird, making sure to pour it over the ENTIRE skin of the bird. Decant the liquid from the foil pan back into the pot, and bring it back to a boil. Repeat the procedure twice more. This tightens the skin, which will help it become crispy. and is a necessary step!
  8. When this has been done, and the base of the bottle has been cleaned off, place it in your refrigerator in another disposable foil pan for two days to dry THOROUGHLY.
  9. After 48 hours of drying in the fridge, take it out and put the bird in your clean sink once again in another disposable foil pan. Sprinkle hot water on the goose one time only, then paint the crispy skin water all over the bird. Let each coat of crispy skin water dry, then repeat a total of 2 times. Put the goose back in the fridge for another 3 hours or until COMPLETELY DRY.
  10. If cooking indoors: Heat your oven up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 Celsius, more or less).
  11. Cook the bird in the oven (ideally, vertically on a vertical roaster in a pan or on a wire rack if that’s all you’ve got), and roast for about twelve minutes per pound. Rotate the bird a couple of times. For the first hour of roasting, it might be best to cover with aluminum foil to prevent excessive darkening.
  12. If, at the end of cooking, there are parts which still look pale, it is perfectly all right to ‘retouch’ those areas with a butane kitchen torch, or kick the broiler on and watch it CAREFULLY.
  13. Remove the bird from the oven, and let it stand for about thirty minutes. Reserve the juices in the bottom of the pan!
  14. If cooking in an outdoor roaster or grill – heat the charcoal thoroughly (TFD strongly prefers hardwood charcoal as the best, easily-accessible substitute for lychee charcoal). Soak peach wood chips in water for at least an hour. Skewer the bottom end of the goose closed so it stays tightly-sealed, you want those tasty juices to stay in the bird for dousing the cut-up bird pieces!).
  15. Cook the goose on the grill (ideally on an s-hook, if possible) adding peach wood chips as needed to get a good smoke on.
  16. Set the goose over the fire for about 40 minutes until the skin turns a maroon color. During the process of roasting, rotate the sides of the goose twice to allow for even heating.
  17. To serve, remove the skewers, tilt the goose to collect all the droppings. Then, either waste a lot of time carving it for an American – British – European presentation, or place it on the chopping block/board and chop it Chinese-style, which is much more efficient and much easier indeed.
  18. Serve with TFD’s preferred dipping sauce or any leftover sweet bean paste (or plum sauce) if you so prefer. If there are any drippings in the carcass, be sure and pour them over the chopped meat before serving!
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