With simple pancakes, this Crispy Duck is superb. If you enjoy duck, this is “the” recipe to make at home.

Crispy Duck (Mandarin Style)
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 1/4 Cup Hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame-seed oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 12 scallions
Mandarin Pancakes:
  • 2 Cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 Cup boiling water
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame-seed oil (to 2)
Duck (or Goose):
  • 1 duck (or goose)
  • 5 Cups water (to 6)
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 4 slices peeled fresh ginger (1" diameter, 1/8" thick)
  • 2 scallions, including the green tops cut into 2" lengths
  1. Prepare the Sauce: Make sauce by combining hoisin sauce, water, sesame-seed oil and sugar in small pan and stir to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil then simmer for 3 minutes and cool.
  2. Prepare scallion brushes by cutting scallions to 3-inch lengths and trimming roots. Stand each scallion on end and make four intersecting cuts 1 inch deep into stalk; repeat at other end. Place scallions in ice water and refrigerate until cut parts curl into brush-like fans.
  3. Prepare the Mandarin Pancakes: Sift flour in mixing bowl; make a well in the center and add 3/4 cup of boiling water. Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix flour and water together until a soft dough is formed. Knead gently for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Cover with damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Roll dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. With a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter (or glass) cut as many circles of dough as possible. Arrange circles side by side; brush half the circles lightly with sesame-seed oil and, sandwich-wise, place un-oiled circles on top. With a rolling pin, flatten each sandwiched pair into a 6-inch circle, rotating the sandwich an inch or so in a clockwise direction as you roll so the circle keeps its shape, and turning it once to roll both sides. Cover pancakes with a dry towel.
  5. Set a heavy skillet on high heat for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and cook pancakes, one at a time, in ungreased pan. Turn them over as they puff up and little bubbles appear on the surface. Regulate heat so pancakes become specked with brown after cooking about 1 minute on each side. As each pancake is finished, gently separate the halves and stack them. Serve at once or wrap in foil and refrigerate or freeze for later use. To reheat, steam for 10 minutes or warm (still wrapped in foil) in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
  6. Preparing the Duck/Goose: Wash the duck with cold water and pat dry inside and out. Suspend with a cord tied around loose neck skin (or under wings) in a cool airy place for 3 hours to dry the skin (train a fan on the bird to speed drying).
  7. In a wok or large casserole, combine water, honey, ginger root and cut scallions; bring to a boil over high heat. Holding the duck by the cord, lower it into the boiling liquid, using a spoon to turn the duck from side to side until thoroughly moistened. Remove the duck (discard liquid) and rehang in cool place to dry for 2 to 3 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Untie duck and cut off any loose neck skin. Place duck, breast-side up, on a rack and set in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes a pound. Lower heat to 300 degrees, turn duck on its breast and roast 10 minutes a pound. Then raise heat to 375 degrees, return duck to original position and roast for a final 10 minutes a pound.
  9. Using a small sharp knife and your fingers, remove the crisp skin from the breast, sides and back of duck.
  10. Cut skin into small rectangles and arrange in a single layer on a heated platter.
  11. Carve the wings, drumsticks and all meat away from the carcass.
  12. Slice meat into small pieces and arrange with wings and drumsticks on another heated platter.
  13. Traditionally, Crispy Duck is served as follows. Place platters of duck, heated pancakes, bowl of sauce, and scallion brushes on the table.
  14. Each guest spreads a pancake flat on a plate, dips a scallion in the sauce and brushes the pancake with it.
  15. The scallion is placed in the middle of the pancake with a piece of duck skin and a piece of meat on top.
  16. The pancake is folded over about 1 inch to enclose the filling, and the whole rolled into a cylinder that can be picked up and eaten with the fingers.
  17. This is commonly called Peking Duck in Chinese restaurants in the Americas.

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