Peking Crispy Duck – my way!

Phew – it’s all over.  Christmas and New Year!  Not that we didn’t have fun at my brother’s in Kent.  He’s so like me in many ways (most of them bad!), but when it comes to food, he’s totally uninterested.  But I got him fired up last week.  His two favourites are Beef Wellington (see previous posts) and Peking Crispy Duck with all the trimmings – pancakes, Hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onion strips, you know the deal.  But he’s always been put off cooking it himself because it can be a long and involved process.  Well, I’ve read, studied and experimented over the years to perfect my own short-cut version.  It’s so, so easy and just as good! Here goes:


  • 1 duck
  • 1 jar of five-spice
  • Accompaniments: Chinese pancakes, spring onions, cucumber, Hoisin sauce

Stage 1: Boil a kettle and pour boiling water over the duck.  This tightens the skin, allowing it to become crispier.  Let it dry, then rub the whole jar of five-spice over and inside the duck.  Leave to marinate for at least two hours (up to 12 if you like).

Stage 2: Steam the duck for 3 to 3½ hours.  Leave it to go completely cold.

Stage 3: Roast the duck in the oven pre-heated to 180-200 degrees C for 1 to 1½ hours, by which time the skin should have crisped up nicely.  Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes, then take two forks and twist to shred the meat, then serve accompanied by the pancakes, Hoisin and the julienned cucumber and spring onion strips.

It’s such a lovely meal to share – everyone enjoys filling the pancakes their own way.  And with this method, the preparation doesn’t take all the fun out of it for the cook!

Peking Crispy Duck and all the makings! Picture from

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