Tea- & Spice-Smoked Duck


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

I’ve served this classic Sichuan dish at XO. It makes a beautiful shared plate with pancakes and the usual garnishes for Peking duck. It can also be served the traditional way with steamed lotus buns.


  • 2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) duck, wing tips and tail removed
  • 2 knobs of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), cut into 4 cm ( inch) lengths
  • 150 g ( oz) tea-smoke mix
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying


    Remove all the fat from the duck cavity. Place the ginger and spring onions inside. To make the marinade, mix together the tangerine peel, five-spive powder and the Sichuan salt and pepper and rub over the duck breasts and legs. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.

    Place the tea-smoke mix in a piece of foil in the centre of a large wok (big enough to fit the duck). Place a wire rack over the smoking mix and then place the duck on top. Put the wok over medium heat to start the mix smoking, then put the lid on the wok and smoke for 15–20 minutes, until the duck is golden brown.

    Remove the duck from the wok and cook in a steamer over boiling water for 1¼ hours. Remove and leave to cool.

    Cut the duck in half lengthways and remove the ginger and spring onions from the cavity. Combine the soy sauce and sesame oil and brush over the duck, then sprinkle with the flour and shake off any excess. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until just smoking (180°C/350°F), and deep-fry the duck for 4 minutes, then leave to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.