Cooking Classes


Peking Duck with Pancakes and Hoisin Sauce

What do I do when my contractor is a "no show"?  I am stressed to the gills because my 
kitchen cabinets are sitting in my cabinet maker's workshop, my appliances are ready 
to be delivered, the hardwood is sitting in one of my bedrooms and I have moved to 
my basement?   I am back to square one with a new contractor who already has a full 
schedule.  So here I am, making Peking Duck.  I have sold my old stove but they don't
take it for another two weeks.  I have always wanted to make Peking Duck.  I am, 
destressing again, by cooking.

I have a lot to learn about making Peking Duck but it was still tasty.

Peking Duck Recipe

Ingredients :
2.5 kg
40 pieces
1 tablespoon
1  teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon
2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon
Chinese pancake 
Spring onions (scallions)
Cucumber, sliced
Red chilies
Malt sugar, honey or molasses
Hoisin sauce
Peanut butter
Sesame oil
Chinese yellow wine
Method :
  • Clean the duck, removing and discarding any excess fat in the cavity.
  • Tie a piece of string around its neck. Pat dry.
  • Bring 25 cups of water to the boil and turn off the heat.
  • Put the duck into the water and turn it backwards and forwards for about 1 minute. 
  • Bring the water to the boil again and repeat the previous step.
  • Do this twice more (total four times).
  • Hang the duck in a cool, draughty place for about 5 hours.  My duck didn't have a neck so I couldn't hang it.  I thought it was a brilliant idea to put it on my beer can chicken stand.  Since it is winter, I placed it in front of a slightly opened window.
  • Mix the coating ingredients with 10 tablespoons hot water and brush the duck all over with the mixture.  I used sorghum, because it was what I had on hand.
  • Hang to dry for a further 4 hours and apply a second layer of coating.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 450oF  and put a roasting pan in the oven with a wire rack in it, making sure that there is a space of about 5 cm between the rack and the pan base.  Be sure the rack is fully preheated.
  • Place the duck on the rack, breast side up, and roast for 8 minutes.
  • Turn the duck over using a towel, not a fork, and roast for a further 8 minutes.
  • Reduce the temperature to 350oF and turn the duck breast side up again.
  • Roast for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 250oF and roast for 10 minutes.
  • Increase the heat again to 450oF and roast the duck for about 10 minutes.
  • At this point you have to watch carefully to make sure the skin of the duck does not burn.
  • Turn off the heat once the skin has turned a rich deep red.
  • While the duck is roasting, prepare the Chinese pancakes. 
  • Cut the spring onions into 5 cm lengths, shred the tip of each piece and put it in
    iced water for 10 minutes. Cut the cucumber into similar lengths.
  • Decorate each piece with a red chili ring.
  • Blend together the sauce ingredients over a low heat.
  • Carve off the skin on the back of the duck.
  • Hold the knife horizontally and carve the skin and meat from the breast and legs, 
    cutting at an angle of 15o.
  • Arrange the skin and meat on a large plate and serve it with pancakes and cucumber, spring onions and the sauce.
Note : Diners help themselves. They place one pancake flat on a plate, put a piece of duck in the center, dip a spring onion (scallion) in the sauce and put it on top of the duck, wrap it up and eat it. The contrast of textures and taste is delicious.

 Ingredients : (makes about 40 pancakes)
4 cups
1 1/2 cups
1 tablespoon
Plain flour (all-purpose flour)
Boiling water
Sesame oil
Method :
  • Place the un-sifted flour in a mixing bowl.
  • Make a well in the center and add the boiling water, stirring rapidly with a fork.
  • Knead the dough well on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and firm.
  • Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover and leave to stand for 1 hour.
  • Knead the dough briefly on a lightly floured surface and roll into a sausage 4 cm in diameter.
  • Pull it apart with your fingers to make about 40 equal sized pieces.
  • Roll the pieces between your hands to make smooth balls, making sure that they are all 
    the same size.
  • Lightly oil the fingers and palms of your hands and flatten each ball until it is 5 mm thick.
  • Brush the top with sesame oil.
  • Place one piece of dough on top of another, oiled sides facing, and roll out into a pancake 
    about 15 cm across.
  • Heat the frying pan and brush the bottom with sesame oil.
  • Add the paired pancakes to the skillet one at a time.
  • Cook over a medium heat for 30 seconds, turn and cook the other side for 30 seconds.
  • Pull the paired pancakes apart with your fingers to make two thin pancakes.
  • Place them on a large piece of foil, one on top of the other, oiled side up.
  • Wrap them in the foil and steam for 30 minutes.
  • Any pancakes left over can be wrapped 
    in foil and kept in the refrigerator for up 
    to three days.


  1. When I was in Chiantown last weekend I saw 1/2 a duck hanging in one of the windows. I suppose the person purchased only what they needed. I would love to make it in my own kitchen someday.

  2. Sorry your contractor flaked out on you :( Good luck with the new one!!!

    Ya know, I've never tried duck. However your peking duck looks amazing!

  3. Oh wow, peking duck! I have never tried it before, looks yummy

  4. That is so industrious to take this on; I 've often wanted to try and make peking duck; but always changed my mind;it looks wonderful.

  5. I am so impressed with your de-stress. Contractors are evil sometimes... I do hope you can get it done soon and be back in your kitchen! Duck is a tough one and you did it proud... wonderful dish!

  6. Oh my gosh..What a feat..:)

    My daughter is in the throws of a remodel..She's happy.But I know the angst..!Good luck!

  7. My son Dan could totally rock out that kitchen for you. He did my hardwood floor, and installs new appliances when my old ones die, and has been known to put in a cabinet or 2. Too bad you're so far away; you'd just love Dan. And he wouldn't make you wait.

  8. Did you get some yummy duck fat?!

    I hope your new contractor works out for you!

  9. I can't believe you did this while your kitchen is under construction and you're cooking from your basement. Great job. It looks fantastic! I'd love to try this one of these days.

  10. Great work! We are so spoilt with all the BBQ restaurants over here, cooking a whole duck has never crossed my mind.

  11. Nothing worse than a kitchen 'in pieces'!! I love Peking duck. Diane

  12. picked a doozey this time! Peking Duck is involved!! And in your basement? With no kitchen?? OMG.


I appreciate your comment! Please visit often.