Quick style Peking duck


Peking duckHaving Peking duck in Peking (Beijing) is one if the joys of the city. I remember one of the first times in the 1980s, at the Quanjude branch in a side alley of Wangfujing, then the main shopping street. No fancy stuff then: we were seated at a large round table with several other guests, and had the 6 or so courses that make up a duck meal.

Webbed feet (skip), gizzards (try), and a milky white soup to end it off (just some sips). in between we got what we came for: crispy duck with Mandarin pancakes, spring onions and sweet bean sauce.

Trying this at home? I would never have thought of it. But now, at the Chinese store, you can buy lots of the Peking duck ingredients. Buy the Mandarin pancakes frozen, get some cucumber and spring onions, open a tin of sweet bean paste and buy… ready pre-cooked duck. The store sells deboned duck in the deep freeze department (picture here) which you only heat in the oven until the skin is crispy, and then you can assemble your dinner and have mock-Peking duck!

You will need: one package of deboned, ready ‘Peking’ duck;
1 to 2 cucumbers
a bunch of spring onions
Mandarin pancakes (frozen), about 10 each

Defrost duck and put in an oven dish. Preheat oven till 200 degrees. Cut the cucumber into 4 pieces and halve these. Then cut into strips. Cut the spring onions into similar chunks and cut these into strips, too.

Then put the duck in an oven tray and bake until hot and crispy, approximately for 30 minutes. If needed, turn on the grill to crisp up the skin. Take a bamboo steamer and steam your Mandarin pancakes for about 5 to 7 minutes until hot and soft. Take the duck out of the oven on a cutting board and cut into thin slices. Then put on a serving plate.

Seat your guests… and roll and fold your pancakes. First take half a spoon of sweet bean sauce and smear it on the pancake. Then add strips of cucumber, strips of spring onion and of course pieces of your lovely crispy duck. Have it as a meal on itself or a starter of a larger Chinese meal. If you really want to try the real stuff, go to Robin for the long version of the recipe!

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