Five-Spice Braised Duck

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a Main Course.

Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About

Here we use the Soy Sauce Braising Liquid from Soy Sauce Chicken and add a spice bag—a Chinese bouquet garni—to flavor the duck during braising.


Spice Bag

  • 2 pieces Chinese cinnamon
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 pieces dried tangerine peel
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 4 slices fresh ginger root
  • 4 whole scallions


  • 4 bunches watercress
  • 10 large whole black Chinese mushrooms, soaked


Deep-frying, braising

  1. Pat the duck dry thoroughly. Reserve the braising liquid. Deep-fry the whole marinated duck in moderately hot oil (350 degrees) to brown it (about 10 to 15 minutes).

  2. Ladle the hot oil over the portion of the duck that is not submerged in oil. When it has browned, lift the duck out of the wok, drain it well, and pat it dry with paper towels.

  3. Put the duck and the marinade in a pot.

  4. Put the spice-bag ingredients in a piece of cheesecloth and wrap them tightly. Add this to the braising liquid, bring it to a simmer, and let it braise gently, covered, for 90 minutes.

  5. Remove the duck from the braising liquid and drain it well. Set the duck on a platter. Add ½ cup braising liquid to 1 quart boiling water. Wilt the watercress in this mixture for a few seconds.

  6. Surround the duck with the wilted watercress and serve it whole. Whole black Chinese mushrooms also make a good garnish. Cook them briefly in the diluted braising liquid.

  • May be prepared a day ahead, reheated, and served hot or at room temperature.
  • Suggested Beverage: Chianti Riserva or Barolo
  • Marinate the duck in Soy Sauce Braising Liquid for at least 2 hours.