Pakeha Beijing Duck

12:43 am on 3 October 2009

An interpretation of Beijing (Peking) duck.


  • 4 duck breasts
  • 4 tbsp palm sugar (you can also use brown)
  • 1 fresh chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground anise
  • pinch of salt


Pre-heat your oven (240c-very hot).

Trim and score the skin of the duck breast.

Drop the breast into rapidly boiling, salted water for about 10 seconds.

Remove, pat dry with paper towel and place on a cooling rack in the fridge.

Make a thick syrup boiling the palm sugar (or brown sugar), ground star anise, salt, finely chopped chilli and a little water. Remove from the heat and allow this to cool.

Brush the duck with the syrup on all sides when hang (using paper clips) in fridge to dry over night (12-18hrs) Make sure you have a plate underneath to catch drips.

Place the dried breast directly onto the oven rack in the hot oven.

Dry roast like this for about 5-6 minutes ONLY (med-rare).

Remove the breast from the oven to rest on a baking rack for about 5-6 minutes.

Once the meat has rested, place it skin side down on a chopping board and slice them as thinly as you cane.

Serve with warm, wafer thin savoury pancakes (crepes) and a small bowl of each of the following;

  • finely shredded spring onion
  • chopped mint
  • plum sauce
  • shredded cucumber
  • shredded pickled ginger

Take a pan cake in your hand, brush a little plum sauce on it and fill with the duck and any or all of the above fillings. Wrap the stuffed pan cake up and enjoy.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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