Chinese Crispy Steamed Duck

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Chinese Crispy Steamed Duck is a classic and special dish that utilizes the Chinese bamboo steamer. We have a post dedicated to explaining the many practical and healthy reasons for cooking with this amazingly simple yet effective Chinese cookware. To read it, just Click Here.

Chinese Crispy Steamed Duck

(Photo Attributed to Author: Banej)

You will not find any Chinese cuisine recipe more tasty and elegantly prepared than this delicious and exquisitely textured Chinese Crispy Steamed Duck. Trust me, it is out of this world wonderful!

Chinese Crispy Steamed Duck Recipe-

  • 1 whole Peking duck (4 to 5-1/2 lb.)
  • 2 tbsp. good quality Japanese whiskey (you can use any good Scotch whiskey, I just prefer the Asian variety for this dish)
  • 1 cup good quality dry red wine (suggest a Shiraz)
  • 1/3 cup freshly ground coarse sea salt
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped fine
  • 4 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground red peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 12 oz. white button mushrooms, washed, patted dry, and stems discarded
  • several lettuce or cabbage leaves
  • fresh cooked rice, for accompaniment

You will need: A large Chinese Bamboo Steamer

  1. Wash and rinse well your duck, then pat it dry (inside and out) with paper or cloth towel.
  2. Mix the whiskey and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the outside and inside all over with the salted whiskey, making sure it is evenly distributed and all used up by the time you are finished.
  3. Place the duck in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 24 hours. If you want the very best results for your Chinese Crispy Steamed Duck, refrigerate for three days and two nights. But be sure to turn the duck over each morning and again in the evening.
  4. When you are ready to cook, brush any salt standing on the flesh off. (the whiskey will have seeped into the meat and/or evaporated by now)
  5. Cut off the excess fat in the duck’s cavity, and cut away the excess neck skin and the tail bone.
  6. Using a skewer or a toothpick, prick the skin all over, taking care to not to stick so deep that you penetrate the fat and meat beneath.
  7. In small mixing bowl, gently mash together both of the ground peppercorns, chopped rosemary and garlic; rub this seasoning mixture inside, onto the walls of the cavity.
  8. Next, slice off strips of lemon rind, then set aside for now.
  9. In a wok or large pot, pour in water to a depth of 2 inches, then add into the water 2 of the rosemary sprigs and all but 4 of the lemon rind strips. Bring the water to a vigorous boil.
  10. Use the lettuce or cabbage leaves to line the bottom of your bamboo steamer. (Note: you can also use parchment paper, but using leafy veggies is the traditional Chinese way)
  11. Now place the duck, breast side up, on top of the bed of leaves in the bamboo steamer (Note: your steamer should be large enough to hold the entire duck and, if using a wok, just the right size to be held up a little above the water by the curved walls of the wok)
  12. Place the rest of the lemon rinds and the other 2 rosemary sprigs on top of the duck breast, then place the steamer into the wok.
  13. Squeeze 1-1/2 teaspoons of juice out of the lemon into a small bowl, and reserve. Then squeeze the rest of the lemon juices over the duck. Put the steamer’s dome on top and steam, over medium-high heat, for 70 minutes. Check on it often, you will want to add more boiling water to maintain a proper water level. Keep a pot full of water at a lively simmer on the stovetop for this purpose. Adding cold water into the wok will stop the steaming and interrupt the cooking.
  14. When finished steaming, using rubber gloves, remove duck and pour the cooking juices out of the body cavity into a bowl. Discard lemon rind and rosemary sprigs, but reserve the juices.
  15. Preheat your oven to 425° Fahrenheit.
  16. In small mixing bowl, combine the reserved lemon juice and the honey. Brush some of this mixture onto the back side of the duck. Now place duck, breast side down, onto a cooking rack set into a roasting pan.
  17. Roast until the duck turns a rich golden brown – about 15 minutes should do it – then turn the duck over. Brush the remaining honey mixture all over the exposed meat areas. Roast for about another 15 minutes, or until well browned. Take care to pay attention that it is not burning.
  18. While the duck is roasting, bring the reserved cooking juices to a boil in a small cooking pot. Add in the mushroom caps and the cup of red wine, and cook until tender – 4 or 5 minutes should do it. When the mushrooms are tender fish them out with a slotted spoon, place them in a bowl and cover to keep warm. Reduce the heat to a lively simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced to a saucy consistency.
  19. To serve your Chinese Crispy Steamed Duck, place a mound of freshly cooked rice in each serving bowl (or high walled plate); add several thick slices of the duck meat on top of the rice. Put several of the mushroom caps into each of the bowls. Finally, ladle a generous portion of the cooking juice/wine sauce over everything.

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8 thoughts on “Chinese Crispy Steamed Duck

  1. I’m Korean, but we also use bamboo steamers. I think I would like to try out this Chinese duck meal, it sounds sooooo yummy!

  2. I’ve been wanting to try some Asian recipes using a bamboo steamer, and this recipe is just the ticket – thanks, Old Silly!

  3. Love me some duck! I hunt Mallards, have a couple in the freezer. This sounds like a great recipe, can I use my mallards, or do I have to have a Peking duck to make it come out “authentic”?

    • Bob, you could use the Mallard you have, and will probably get a very nice dish with it. However, a true “Peking Duck” is named so because of how they are raised, which ensures they have lots of fat and their muscles are not hardened through vigorous exercise. So, for the full “authentic” experience, go ahead and spring for a Peking duck. In fact, I would encourage you to try the dish with a Mallard, then with a Peking duck, and then you judge for yourself, ok?

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