One of the biggest disappointments of arriving in Hong Kong 4 years ago was the lack of Western style Chinese food. Sweet & sour pork was not nearly as ubiquitous as one had hoped, and the old favourite, Peking Duck is apparently more common in Peking. Who would have thought? In fact the specialty in HK is roast goose, which I personally find a little fatty. We had a Scottish friend to stay this week and needed to entertain at home as one of our kids was sick, so I set about trying to recreate this canonical dish. You only need a few ingredients after all, and the prep is fairly straightforward, but I didn't anticipate catching a sampan to buy the pancakes as there ain't none in the shops! I had to beg the kitchen staff of the Jumbo floating restaurant to make me some, which they kindly did (24 for $100 FYI). Yes, I know I should have tried to make them myself, but time was limited (er I had a pedi in the diary....).
What you need:
1 duck. (I bought a US frozen duck in Parknshop and defrosted it in warm water in the sink for a few hours).
Tablespoon of fivespice
1 inch cube of ginger, peeled then grated
Zest of half an orange
2 bunches of spring onions
1 pot of hoisin sauce
20 wheat pancakes (NOT THE SPRING ROLL VARIETY!). Go to Jumbo restaurant and ask for a takeway if necessary!
Once your duck is defrosted, put it on a wire rack in a roasting tray. Rub the outside with salt, five spice, grated ginger and the zest of half an orange. It is such a fatty bird that it needs somewhere to drip all the fat while cooking. Turn up your oven as far as it can go and roast the duck for 1.5 hours. Remove the duck and remove all the meat, shredded on a plate. Retain the skin and flatten it out and put it back in the bloody hot oven to crisp up while you prep the rest.
Put a small pan of water to boil and steam your pancakes for a few minutes. Carry to the table with a teatowel wrapped around the steamer to keep them warm.
Chop the cucumber and spring onion into long strips as per the picture and spoon your hoisin into a bowl. Remember to now remove the crispy skin from the oven and put onto a plate with the duck.
Invite each guest to wrap up their own pancakes of duck, skin, hoisin sauce, cucumber and spring onion.
Serves 4 as a very hefty starter.
Peking Duck Chez Nous