Cantonese-style Roast Duck Recipe

This Cantonese-style roast duck recipe uses the traditional technique of cooking - from the drying process, to creating the distinctive, mouth-watering sauce that we all love!

I urge you to try this recipe soon, you know you are up for a memorable meal.

The bird:

It's critical during the air dry process to make sure the skin of the duck is dried completely with a slight golden hue before roasting the bird in the oven. You can even put an electric fan in front of the duck to speed up the process.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to get the crispy skin on the entire bird unless you have a rotisserie fixture in your oven. However, you can almost be guaranteed to get the golden crispy skin on the outside of the legs and breast and perfectly cooked moist duck meat on the inside if you follow the steps diligently.

Another winner of this dish is the sauce. The essence of the sauce is that it is able to absorb all the wonderful juices and drippings inside the cavity of the duck for an hour while in the oven. Then, it's cooked down to a thick, luscious dipping sauce.

Chinese Cantonese-Style Roast Duck Recipe
Serves 4-6

Ingredients1 whole duck, about 2kg
2 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic
4 slices ginger
2 fresh red chillies
2 tbsp sweet bean sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp honey

Sauce:1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tsp cornflour

  1. Boil a big pot of water, enough to submerge the whole duck.
  2. When the water is boiling, put in the duck and let it boil for 2 minutes. Make the whole duck is submerged in the water.
  3. Remove duck and drain. Discard the water.
  4. Mix salt and 5 spice powder. Rub them all over the cavity of the duck. 

5. Put garlic, ginger, chilli and bean paste in a blender and process to form a paste.

6. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a fry pan under medium heat. stir fry the paste until fragrant.

7. Add 3 tbsp of water, sugar and coriander and continue stir fry for 1 minute.

8.  Remove from heat. Let cool slightly and fill the cavity of the duck with the paste.

9. Stitch up the opening with kitchen twine or seal the opening with metal skewer.

10. Melt honey with 6 tbsp of boiling water with seasonings (salt and pepper).

11. Brush the honey mixture all over the duck. Repeat a few times to make sure every part of the skin is basted in the honey mixture.

12. Hang the duck in well aired / ventilated space for 3 hours or longer until the skin is completely dry.

13. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Put the duck, breast side up, in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour or until skin is crisp and meat is cooked.

14. To make the sauce: Drain all the sauce from the cavity to a saucepan. Add sugar, sesame oil, shaoxing wine, soy sauce and cornflour and cook until it's bubbling and thicken.

15. Carve the duck and serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

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