Do you always order the duck pancakes from your local Chinese restaurant or when you get takeaway because it just seems impossible to make them at home? Well, in this weeks recipe AnotherFoodBlogger (that's me) has you covered. My version of Peking duck pancakes will take you about 30 minutes to prep and cook which I reckon is quicker than your local takeaway can do!!
Why I Love This Recipe
- restaurant quality at home
- fancy but simple
- minimal cooking
This Peking duck pancakes recipe is one that will be featured again and again in my home. It didn't stand a chance when I told Mrs AnotherFoodBlogger what we were having for dinner! Her words were "it's like eating in a restaurant at home" well, aside from having to clean our own plates! What I love about this is there is minimal cooking to do - literally just cooking some duck breasts and heating duck pancakes. It looks super fancy and it's also a fun dish to serve family-style to your mates too!
Not a lot! All of them except the duck pancakes are easily accessible in pretty much any grocery store. Nowadays there are a plethora of Asian shops in every suburb you are never too far from one. The duck pancakes are found in the freezer section and are cheap as chips so may as well grab a couple packs! Lord knows once you make these Peking duck pancakes once you will want them again 😉
- duck breasts - I'll go into detail on how to cook these but your local butcher and/or grocery store will typically stock them
- hoisin sauce - a sweet, tangy, salty sauce that is quite thick but oh so good!
- chinese cooking wine - also known as shaoxing wine is an ESSENTIAL ingredient in many Chinese recipes. It is a salty, alcoholy flavour that is used sparingly in many dishes
- 5 spice - star anise, fennel seeds, cinnamon, szechuan pepper and cloves are what make up this punchy little powder
- garlic & ginger - adds a little kick to the marinade
- duck pancakes - heat these guys in either the microwave, steamer basket or a quick fry in the pan
- cucumber - sliced thinly lengthways
- spring onions - slice them thinly lengthways
- salt - use plenty to cover the duck breasts
Marinating The Duck
To marinate the duck I would recommend a minimum of 30 minutes for the marinade to start to penetrate the duck but the best results are found if left overnight or 1st thing in the morning for dinner in the evening.
First, start by mixing the marinade ingredients together. Nothing complicated here, just whisk them together in a bowl. Place the marinade in a baking tray/casserole dish and then place the duck breasts (meat side down) into the mixture making sure it's rubbed all over the meaty side. Make sure not to get it on the skin. Next, sprinkle a generous amount of salt on the skin and leave it in the fridge.
The duck will tenderise and start to take on the flavours of the marinade whereas the salt will dry out the skin helping to crisp your Peking duck up nicely in the pan.
Once ready to cook, wipe the marinade off the duck and score the skin gently so as not to cut through to the meat.
If you are only letting it marinate for 30 minutes do so while letting the duck come to room temperature - more on this later
How To Cook Duck Breast
Here are my top tips on cooking duck! It's not just exclusive to this Peking duck pancakes recipe so follow these steps and you will be sorted. This is based on 190-200g duck breasts so cooking times will vary depending upon the size.
Firstly, start by scoring and salting the skin. We do this so we can render the fat from the duck breast which helps crisp it up but also means you cook the fat from the duck. Salt your duck either a minimum of 20 minutes prior to cooking or just before you are cooking it.
Secondly, low heat. Place your duck skin side down in the pan on low heat. Cooking the duck on low heat allows the fat to render out from the skin gradually. As the fat renders you should drain it from the pan. Keep the fat for future cooks! After 8-10 minutes, flip the bird 😉 and place in the oven @ 180c and cook for a further 3-4 minutes or until internal temperature is 48-52c
Finally, REST. Don't cover the duck as the skin will continue to crisp up after cooking. Allow the duck to rest for 10 minutes on a wire rack. The reason for the wire rack is to allow air circulation. If you place it on a plate or leave it in the pan it will continue to cook!
Slice and bask in the glory of perfectly cooked duck!
Serving Duck Pancakes
The easiest part of the recipe. Simply heat the pancakes either quickly in the microwave, in a steamer basket or lightly pan-fry them. I cover mine in cloth once heated so they stay warm when eating.
Next, slice the spring onions & cucumber into matchsticks and lay them on a board with hoisin sauce and cooked duck breast
Grab a pancake, a drizzle of hoisin, a slice or two of duck and some cucumber/onion. Roll, eat and repeat!
Tips/Tricks & FAQ's
Preparation is key! As the duck rests get all the rest of the ingredients ready and on the board so you are ready to serve. Other than that, read the recipe. Always read the recipe from start to finish so you know what you are doing before you start.
100% - you can cook any piece of meat perfectly but if you don't rest it all the juices will just drain from the meat the second you cut into it leaving you with dry looking and tasting meat.
We cook the duck skin side down to slowly render the fat making the skin crispy but also because duck meat is very delicate and if we cook it meat side down it will very quickly overcook.
You could try my BBQ plum sauce instead but hoisin is available in every grocery store so I would recommend it
Duck Pancake Wine Pairing
This month I enjoyed a delicious bottle of 2016 The Griffin Syrah from Journeys End Wines in South Africa. Made from 100% Syrah from the Stellenbosch region of South Africa with an alcohol content of 14.5% this is one of the brands signature wines
All grapes are handpicked, and the wine is made using whole bunches which gives wine slight herbal and "woody" notes. It sees 18 months of oak in a mixture of American and French barrels.
All the hard work and love that goes into this wine result in a special drop that has layers of black and red fruits, black pepper, notes of lavender and maybe a touch of chocolate. There are slight smokey notes and a kiss of spice too. Nicely balanced acidity and good length. With 5 years under its belt, it's drinking well now but will go for at least another 5 years.
Alternative Duck Recipes
Inspired by my Peking duck pancakes dish and want to cook some more duck dishes? Wouldn't blame you! Check out other duck recipes I created and some fellow foodies have on their site too.
Duck Crostini by Yours Truly
Pan-Seared Duck Breast w/ Cranberry Sauce by Gina Matsoukas of 'Running To The Kitchen'
Duck & Orange Sauce by Yours Truly
Venetian Duck Ragu by Emily Kemp of 'Inside The Rustic Kitchen'
Duck w/ Beetroot & Asian Greens by Yours Truly
Honey Roast Duck Recipe by Amy Casebolt Nash of 'House Of Nash Eats'
Happy Cooking and Happy Eating Friends!!
- 4 duck breasts
- 1" piece ginger grated
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp 5 spice
- 150 ml hoisin sauce
- 150ml Chinese cooking wine
- 16 pancakes
- 3 spring onions
- 1/2 cucumber
- hoisin sauce
- Chef Knives
- Chopping board
- frying pan
- steamer basket/frying pan/microwave
- mixing bowl
- sheet pan/tray
- Mix all marinade ingredients together
- Place the marinade in a flat tray and place duck breasts on top – meat side down. Rub the marinade into the meat being careful not to get it onto the skin
- Sprinkle the skin generously with salt and place in the fridge for 30 mins or overnight if possible
- Remove the duck 20 minutes before cooking. Heat the oven to 180c and score the skin and rub off any marinade from the duck breasts
- Place the duck skin side down into a cold pan and put it on low heat, cook for 8-10 minutes skin side down until crispy
- Flip the duck, place it in the oven and cook I for a further 3-4 minutes or until the internal temperature is 52c
- Reserve the rendered duck fat for future cooks and rest the duck on a wire rack for 10 minutes before slicing
- Slice the cucumber and spring onion into long thin pieces about 4” in length
- Cook the pancakes either in the microwave for 30 seconds, in a dry frying pan on medium heat or steam them for 30 seconds
- Slice the duck into thin slices
- Place a spoon of hoisin on the pancake, top with 2 slices of duck and a sprinkling of cucumber and spring onions
- Repeat and be happy 😉
- the longer you leave the duck the more the marinade will soak into the duck adding more flavour and making it juicier
- ALWAYS rest your meat. Rest the duck uncovered so the skin crisps up and rest it for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute
- season the duck well to bring the moisture from the skin – this will add flavour but also help crisp up the duck
- if you are in a hurry you can skip the marinade and just cook the duck straight away – the duck won’t have as much flavour but the hoisin sauce will still make it delicious!
- you can buy the duck pancakes in most Asian stores – I found they were easier to separate when slightly frozen or after heating them through