China – Peking Duck – Recipe (Traditional)


Enjoy your Peking Duck!


Peking Duck is an iconic dish from Beijing, China, renowned for its thin, crispy skin and succulent meat. Often regarded as a culinary art form, Peking Duck showcases meticulous preparation and a rich history dating back to the imperial era. It is a feast for the senses, offering a delightful combination of flavors, textures, and aromas.

Key Elements:

  • Crispy Skin: The hallmark of Peking Duck is its incredibly crispy skin, achieved through a unique preparation process. The duck is air-dried, sometimes coated with a maltose syrup, and then roasted at high temperatures until the skin turns golden brown and crackles with each bite.
  • Tender Meat: Underneath the crispy skin, the duck meat remains juicy and tender. The roasting process ensures that the meat retains its natural flavors while absorbing the subtle aromas of the seasonings used.
  • Aromatic Flavor: Peking Duck is often seasoned with a blend of Chinese spices, including star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, and ginger, infusing the meat with a distinctive aromatic profile.
  • Traditional Serving: Peking Duck is traditionally served with thin wheat pancakes, hoisin sauce, and sliced scallions and cucumbers. The combination of these ingredients creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures.


  1. Preparation of the Duck:
    • The duck is first cleaned and seasoned with spices and herbs, often including a mix of salt, sugar, and five-spice powder.
    • The air-drying process is crucial, as it helps to dehydrate the skin, making it crispy during roasting. Sometimes, a maltose syrup is brushed onto the skin to enhance its color and crispiness.
  2. Roasting:
    • The duck is traditionally roasted in a closed oven or over an open flame, allowing the skin to render and become crispy while the meat remains tender.
    • The roasting process is carefully monitored to ensure even cooking and optimal texture.
  3. Carving and Serving:
    • Peking Duck is typically carved tableside, with the skin and meat sliced separately. The skin is often served first, followed by the meat.
    • Diners wrap the slices of duck skin and meat in thin pancakes, adding hoisin sauce and fresh vegetables like scallions and cucumbers for added flavor and crunch.

Culinary Experience:

  • Visual Appeal: The golden, glossy skin and beautifully arranged slices make Peking Duck a visually stunning dish, often served as the centerpiece of a meal.
  • Flavor Symphony: The rich, savory taste of the duck meat, combined with the sweet and salty hoisin sauce and the fresh crunch of the vegetables, creates a harmonious blend of flavors.
  • Textural Delight: The contrast between the crispy skin, tender meat, soft pancakes, and crunchy vegetables provides a delightful textural experience.

Peking Duck is more than just a dish; it is a celebration of Chinese culinary tradition and artistry. Its meticulous preparation and exceptional taste make it a beloved and memorable dining experience, revered by food enthusiasts around the world


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