Eight-Jewel Duck

Stuffed Boned Duck

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a Main Course.

Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About

Most of the preparation for this dish can be done in advance. All you must do at the last minute is brown the duck, either by frying it in hot oil (as described below) or by placing it on the top shelf of a very hot (500-degree) oven for 10 minutes. Choose stuffing ingredients that contrast in texture and flavor. The one used here—Eight-Jewel Duck—takes its name from the eight main ingredients in the stuffing: fresh water chestnuts, Smithfield ham, gingko nuts, black mushrooms, duck-liver sausages, chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and glutinous rice. Other stuffings, one of your own creation or the stuffing for Beggar’s Chicken or Whole Stuffed Chicken Skin, are just as delicious.



  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • ½ cup peeled and diced fresh water chestnuts
  • 8 whole chestnuts, peeled and cut into quarters
  • ½ cup diced Smithfield ham
  • 2 tablespoons minced Chinese parsley
  • ½ cup gingko nuts, fresh or canned, (shelled if fresh)
  • ¼ cup diced bamboo shoots
  • 8 Chinese black mushrooms, soaked, squeezed dry, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced scallion
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup glutinous rice (soaked for 4 hours and drained), steamed for 30 minutes with 4 duck-liver sausages
  • 1 whole duck, about 5 pounds, boned


Boning, Steaming, deep-frying

  1. In the oil, stir-fry all the stuffing ingredients except the rice and sausage.

  2. When they are thoroughly mixed (about 30 seconds), add the rice and sausage and combine well. Remove the stuffing from the heat.

  3. When the stuffing is cool enough to handle, fill the boned duck with it through the tail.

  4. Fill the legs and thighs as well.

  5. Sew the tail and neck shut.

  6. Steam the duck on a plate in a wok for 1¼ hour. Let it cool and dry, then dust it with water chestnut powder or cornstarch and, just before serving, deep-fry to brown it. (The stuffed steamed duck can be refrigerated if prepared ahead. Bring it to room temperature, dust with chestnut powder, then deep-fry.)

  7. Bring it to the table whole, and have guests help themselves by picking into the duck with chopsticks.

  • May be steamed in advance and refrigerated, then deep-fried just before serving.
  • Suggested Beverage: Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, or Nebbiolo