Cantonese Roast Duck

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a Main Course.

Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About



  • 3 slices fresh ginger root
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 3 whole scallions, cut into 3-inch sections
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon bean sauce
  • 2 tablespoons thin soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 teaspoon whole Sichuan peppercorns, roasted
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 8 whole stems Chinese parsley

Basting Liquid

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ¼ cup malt sugar or honey


  1. stir-fry the ginger, garlic, and scallions in the oil for a few seconds, then add the remaining marinade ingredients. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 2 or 3 minutes, then pour it into a bowl to cool.

  2. Pour the cooled marinade into the inflated duck through the tail vent. Skewer the tail shut. Tie a string at the neck, and hang the duck to dry the skin for 1½ hours in front of a fan, 3 to 4 hours in a cool place. If you are not using duck with its head on, sew the neck flap closed and hang the duck from a hook through the neck.

  3. Roast the duck on a rack over a pan of water according to this timetable:

    • 15 minutes at 450 degrees, breast up
    • 25 minutes at 350 degrees, breast up
    • 35 minutes at 350 degrees, breast down
    • 5 minutes at 450 degrees, breast down
    • 10 minutes at 450 degrees, breast up
    • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    • Baste after each interval with the basting liquid.

  4. When the duck is done, open the tail vent and let the marinade drain into a bowl.

  5. Cut up the duck Chinese-style. Arrange it on a platter. Serve the degreased marinade on the side or poured over the duck.

  • Roasting
  • May be served immediately or prepared ahead and served at room temperature.
  • Suggested Beverage: Medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux