Steamed Simple Duck

The only difficult thing about this dish is finding a bowl large enough for the duck, and a steamer that will fit the whole lot. Other than that, this is the simplest duck dish I know; the flesh is meltingly tender after long, gentle cooking. Also delicious served at room temperature or even cold, with some chilli dipping sauce, it’s a good dish to add to a shared table.


  • 1 × 2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) duck, wing tips and tail removed
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), cut into julienne
  • 1 long red chilli, cut into julienne
  • fresh chilli sauce, to serve


  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) shaoxing
  • 3 slices of peeled ginger
  • 3 spring onions (scallions)
  • 375 ml (13 fl oz/ cups) fresh chicken stock


Remove the fat from the cavity of the duck. Put the duck in a large pot of rapidly boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Remove, drain and put the duck in a shallow heatproof bowl.

Mix the seasoning ingredients together and pour over the duck. Put the bowl with the duck in a large bamboo steamer over a pot or a wok of boiling water, cover with the lid and steam gently for 3 hours. Carefully lift out the duck and drain. Chop the duck Chinese-style and arrange on a plate.

Skim any fat from the stock and discard the ginger and spring onion. Put a third of the stock in a small pot and bring to the boil, then pour over the duck. Scatter the spring onions and chilli on top of the duck and serve with the chilli sauce.