Peking duck is a Chinese dish that has gained immense popularity all over the world. It is a delicacy that is known for its crispy skin and juicy meat, making it a mouthwatering experience for anyone who tries it. However, achieving the perfect texture and taste can be a challenge, and that’s where the secret to perfectly crispy Peking duck comes in.

The key to achieving the perfect crispy skin is in the preparation. The duck is first marinated with a mixture of spices and then air-dried for several hours. This process helps to remove excess moisture from the skin, which is essential for achieving the desired texture. The duck is then roasted in a special oven, which helps to evenly distribute the heat and ensure that the skin is crispy and golden brown.

But it’s not just the skin that makes Peking duck so delicious. The meat is also an important part of the dish, and it should be juicy and tender. To achieve this, the duck is often stuffed with aromatics such as ginger and scallions, which infuse the meat with flavour and help to keep it moist during cooking.

History of Peking Duck

Peking duck is a dish that has been enjoyed by people for centuries. Its origins can be traced back to the imperial era of China, where it was considered a delicacy and served exclusively to the royal family. The dish was first mentioned in a cookbook from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), where it was referred to as “shao ya” or “roast duck.”

Over time, the dish became more popular and spread beyond the royal court. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Peking duck was served in restaurants and became a staple dish in Beijing. The dish continued to evolve, with chefs experimenting with different methods of preparation and cooking.

One of the traditional methods of preparing Peking duck involves inflating the duck with air to separate the skin from the meat. The duck is then marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and spices before being roasted in a wood-fired oven. The result is a perfectly crispy skin and tender, juicy meat.

Today, Peking duck is enjoyed all over the world and has become a symbol of Chinese cuisine. While modern cooking techniques have been introduced, many restaurants still use traditional methods to prepare this mouthwatering delight.

Ingredients and Preparation

Peking duck is a dish that requires a bit of preparation, but the end result is well worth the effort. Here are the ingredients you will need:

– 1 whole duck (around 2.3-2.7 kg)
– 1 tablespoon of honey
– 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
– 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
– 1 teaspoon of five-spice powder
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 1 teaspoon of baking powder
– 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
– 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
– 2 cups of boiling water

To prepare the duck, start by removing the neck and giblets from the cavity. Rinse the duck inside and out with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.

Next, mix together the honey, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder, and salt in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the duck, making sure to get it into the cavity as well.

Once the duck is coated in the marinade, it’s time to air-dry it. Hang the duck by its neck in a cool, dry place for at least 6 hours (or overnight) to allow the skin to dry out. This step is crucial for achieving that crispy skin that Peking duck is known for.

When you’re ready to cook the duck, preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F). Mix together the baking powder, white vinegar, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Brush the mixture all over the duck, making sure to get it into the crevices and under the wings.

Place the duck on a wire rack set over a roasting pan and pour the boiling water into the pan. Roast the duck for 45 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 218°C (425°F) and roast for another 15-20 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy.

Remove the duck from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with steamed pancakes, sliced scallions, and hoisin sauce for a mouthwatering delight that will have your taste buds singing.

The key to making the perfect Peking duck is all in the preparation. By marinating the duck and air-drying it before cooking, you’ll achieve that crispy skin and tender meat that makes this dish so special. Give it a try and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills!

Cooking Techniques:

Peking duck is known for its crispy skin and succulent meat, which is why it’s a favourite among foodies worldwide. However, achieving the perfect texture and flavour of Peking duck requires a specific cooking technique. We’ll discuss the different cooking techniques used to cook Peking duck, including roasting, smoking, and deep-frying.

1. Roasting

Roasting is the most traditional and popular method of cooking Peking duck. The process involves hanging the duck in an oven and roasting it at a high temperature for a specific period. The duck is usually seasoned with a mixture of spices, including ginger, garlic, and star anise, to enhance its flavour. The roasting process takes around 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the duck. The result is a crispy skin and tender meat that melts in your mouth.

2. Smoking

Smoking is another popular method of cooking Peking duck. The process involves hanging the duck in a smoker and smoking it with wood chips for a few hours. The smoking process infuses the duck with a smoky flavour, making it more flavourful. The duck is then roasted in an oven to achieve the crispy skin and tender meat.

3. Deep-frying

Deep-frying is a modern method of cooking Peking duck that has gained popularity in recent years. The process involves deep-frying the duck in hot oil for a few minutes until the skin is crispy. The duck is then roasted in an oven to cook the meat thoroughly. The deep-frying method results in a crispy skin and juicy meat that is perfect for those who love a crunchy texture.

Peking duck is a dish that requires a specific cooking technique to achieve the perfect texture and flavour. Whether you prefer the traditional roasting method, the smoky flavour of smoking, or the modern deep-frying technique, each method has its unique taste and texture. So, the next time you order Peking duck, try to identify the cooking technique used and savour the mouthwatering delight that is Peking duck.

Serving and Accompaniments

Peking duck is not just a dish, it’s an experience. And the traditional way of serving it is an integral part of that experience. The crispy skin, tender meat, and flavourful sauce are all wrapped in a thin pancake with scallions and hoisin sauce. Here’s how to serve Peking duck the traditional way:

1. Thin Pancakes: The pancakes are made from a mixture of flour and water, rolled out into thin circles, and then steamed. They are served warm and soft, ready to be filled with the delicious duck meat.

2. Scallions: The scallions are cut into thin strips and placed on the pancake before adding the duck meat. They add a fresh, crunchy texture and a mild onion flavour.

3. Hoisin Sauce: The hoisin sauce is a sweet and savoury sauce made from soybeans, sugar, vinegar, and spices. It’s spread on the pancake before adding the duck meat and scallions, adding a rich and flavourful taste.

But why stop there? There are other accompaniments that can enhance the flavour of the dish even further. Here are some suggestions:

1. Pickled Vegetables: Pickled vegetables, such as cucumber, carrot, and radish, add a tangy and refreshing taste that complements the rich flavour of the duck.

2. Sesame Oil: Sesame oil is a fragrant and nutty oil that can be drizzled over the duck meat before wrapping it in the pancake. It adds a depth of flavour and richness to the dish.

Serving Peking duck the traditional way is a must-try experience for any food lover. And with the addition of pickled vegetables and sesame oil, you can take the flavour to the next level. So go ahead, indulge in this mouthwatering delight and savour every bite!

Variations and Innovations

Peking duck has been a staple in Chinese cuisine for centuries, and over time, chefs have experimented with different spices and sauces to create new and exciting variations of this mouthwatering delight.

One popular variation is the use of five-spice powder, a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns. This spice mix adds a unique depth of flavour to the duck, making it even more irresistible.

Another popular variation is the use of hoisin sauce, a sweet and savoury sauce made from soybeans, garlic, vinegar, and sugar. This sauce is often served alongside the duck, adding a delicious contrast to the crispy skin and tender meat.

In recent years, chefs have also experimented with fusion flavours, incorporating ingredients from other cuisines to create new and exciting dishes. For example, some chefs have added a Mexican twist to Peking duck by serving it with guacamole and salsa, while others have infused it with Japanese flavours by using miso paste and soy sauce.

Overall, the variations and innovations of Peking duck are endless, and each one offers a unique and delicious experience. Whether you prefer the traditional flavours or want to try something new, there’s no denying that Peking duck is a true culinary masterpiece.


Peking duck is a mouthwatering delight that requires the right techniques and ingredients to achieve the perfect crispy texture. From selecting the right duck to preparing the marinade and roasting it to perfection, every step is crucial in creating this delicious dish.

By following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can now confidently prepare your own Peking duck at home and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills. Remember to be patient and take your time to ensure that every step is done correctly.

We hope that this article has inspired you to try making Peking duck at home and share your experiences with us. Don’t forget to use the keywords “Peking duck” and “mouthwatering delight” when sharing your creations on social media to help spread the word about this delicious dish.

Thank you for reading and happy cooking!

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