Ken Hom’s Crispy Aromatic Duck
How to make crispy duck pancakes, Ken Hom style! A classic Chinese recipe from one of our favourite chefs.
- 1 x 2.75 kg (6lb) duck fresh or frozen
- 6 slices of fresh root ginger
- 6 spring onions cut in to 3 inch length
- Plain flour for dusting
- 1.2 litres (2 pints) groundnut oil
For the spice rub
- 2 tbsp five-spice powder
- 7.6g Sichuan peppercorns
- 25g whole black peppercorns
- 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 200g rock salt
- Chinese pancakes
- 6 spring onions, finely shredded
- Hoisin sauce
- If the duck is frozen, thaw it thoroughly, rinse well and blot it completely dry with kitchen paper.
- Mix all the ingredients for the spice rub together in a small bowl, then rub the duck inside and out with this mixture, applying it evenly.
- Wrap well in cling film and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- After this time, brush any excess spices from the duck. Stuff the ginger and spring onions into the cavity and put the duck on a heatproof plate.
- Set up a steamer or put a rack into a wok. Fill it with 5 cm (2 in) of water and bring to the boil. Lower the duck and plate into the steamer and cover tightly.
- Steam gently for 2 hours, pouring off excess fat from time to time. Add more water as necessary.
- Remove the duck from the steamer and pour off all the liquid. Discard the ginger and spring onions. Leave the duck in a cool place for 2 hours or until it has dried and cooled. At this point the duck can be refrigerated.
- Just before you are ready to serve it, cut the duck into quarters and dust with cornflour, or plain four or potato flour, shaking off the excess.
- Heat the oil in a wok or deep fat fryer. When it is almost smoking, deep-fry the duck quarters in two batches. Fry the breasts for about 8-10 minutes and the thighs and legs for about 12-15 minutes until each quarter is crisp and heated completely through.
- Drain the duck on kitchen paper and leave until cool enough to handle. Then remove the meat from the bones and shred it. You can do this easily with a fork. The Chinese eat it with bones and all.
- Serve with the Chinese pancakes, spring onions and hoisin sauce.
- For more Ken Hom recipes visit www.kenhom.co.uk.