Peking Duck and Rice Paper Rolls

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes about

    24

Appears in

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes, one enjoyed by my family and friends on numerous occasions! You can buy ready-made hoi sin sauce in the supermarket and use it straight from the jar onto the rice roll (or pancake). In my version, sesame oil, dark soy and sugar (not healthy but allowed sometimes...) liven up the hoi sin and give it some depth. You will find wheat flour pancakes for Peking duck pancakes in Chinese supermarkets (usually in the freezer section); they need steaming. I think rice paper rolls make for a delicious change, though, and these can be found on the shelf in Asian shops. Both pancakes and rice paper rolls can be stored easily, either in your pantry or freezer, and used when required.

Preparation time: 10 minutes plus marinating
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole medium duck
  • 8 cups boiling water

For the Glaze

  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

For the Peking Duck Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 6 tablespoons hoi sin sauce
  • 6 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch blended with 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 24 rice paper rolls
  • 3 spring onions, sliced into long thin strips
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and sliced into long thin strips

Method

  1. Place the duck on a rack over a roasting pan and pour over the boiling water. Discard the water and pat dry the duck with paper towels.
  2. Mix together the ingredients for the glaze and brush over the duck, inside and out. Let it dry and glaze then brush again. Repeat, using most of the marinade but reserve 4–5 tablespoons. Ideally, allow the glaze to settle over the duck, leaving it uncovered in the fridge overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Place the duck on a rack in a roasting pan. Transfer to the oven and cook for 45 minutes then turn over and brush the duck with the reserved marinade. Check that the bird is not getting too dark then cook for a further 45 minutes until the skin is crisp. Remove, cover, and let it rest.
  4. To make the sauce, heat a pan or wok and add all the sauce ingredients except the blended cornstarch. When the sauce starts to bubble slightly, add the cornstarch and stir well. Set aside and let it cool.
  5. Place some rice paper rolls in a bowl of hot water for less than 1 minute, remove and lay them on a plate to soften.
  6. Carve and slice some duck. Place 1 teaspoon of sauce in the center of a roll, add some duck, spring onions and cucumber, roll up and serve immediately.

,