Cantonese Roast Duck 粤式烧鸭

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I finally get down to roasting a duck at home !! Well, I always thought that the home oven isn’t such a perfect idea to roast a whole poultry as it doesn’t come with the rotating stick like the commercial ovens and will result in uneven browning. I still doesn’t get a perfect browning to be frank, but the taste and texture of the duck is something that’s so good that it can be comparable to what’s sold commercially. No doubts about that.

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And after the whole process, I realised it’s still manageable to achieve a good roast duck from the home and it wasn’t as intimidating as what I would have imagined earlier. I had better pen down this recipe fast, before it get lost somewhere.

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I strongly believe also that the “red color” skin of roast duck that we often seen sold commercially are as a result of colouring, just like char siew. Without that, the roast duck would be a normal roast colour instead of red. Nevertheless, I prefer it’s natural roast tone without the artificial coloring, though it may not look as photogenic as it would have been if it’s “red”.

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The most difficult part of the whole process would have to be the “stitching” of the duck cavity after the sauce is put in. I used 2 skewers to do that, and even then, it wasn’t easy to pass them through the thick skin. So care has to be taken while forcing the skewers through and take extra caution so that you doesn’t prick your hand !!

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I roasted the duck a longer than usual stipulated time because the interior of the duck wasn’t cooked thoroughly. From the marinating to the doneness of the roasting, the whole process took a good 2 days to complete. But because of the laborious efforts put in, you can be sure it’s a roast duck that that yields fabulous results !!

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Get the fresh whole duck from PurelyFresh today to roast your own at home and you will be able to enjoy the most awesome roast duck you ever had !

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Enjoy !!

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Cantonese Roast Duck 粤式烧鸭
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4
  • 1 whole fresh duck

For the Marinating:
  • 1½ tbsp Sichuan peppercorn (grind them in a food processor till it resembles powder form)
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp five spices powder

For the Seasoning Sauce:
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp huatiao wine
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp rock sugar cubes
  • 5 whole garlics, crushed
  • 3 shallots
  • 5 stalks spring onion, cut into secions
  • 10 thick slices of ginger

For the Blanching Liquid:
  • 2.7L water
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sweet soya sauce
  • 25ml light soya sauce
  • 50ml huatiao wine

For the Chili Sauce:
  • I used a similar recipe as here except I replaced the chicken oil with the duck oil now and adjust it with with less chili padis and more red chilies this time to make it less spicy.
  1. Wash the duck clean and pat it dry. Combine the marinating ingredients together and rub it all over the duck on the surface. Allow it to be marinated overnight in the fridge.
  2. Heat up a frying pan with 2 tbsp of oil and add the seasoning ingredients such as the garlics, shallots, spring onions and ginger. Saute till fragrant.
  3. Add in the rest of the seasoning ingredients such as all the sauces, huatiao wine and sugars.
  4. When all the sugar has melted and the mixture has boiled, remove from heat. Allow it to cool completely.
  5. Remove the duck from the fridge and add in the cooled seasoning sauce from the above step into the cavity of the duck. (if the sauce has thickened and difficult to be remove from the pan/bowl, you can add some water, mix well and add all to the cavity.)
  6. Stitch the cavity of the duck with 2 bamboo skewers tightly and make sure that's no leakage of the sauce. (If your duck does not have a head, you would need to seal that part too.)
  7. In a huge pot, add all the blanching liquid ingredients to the water and allow it to boil.
  8. Place the duck on a wire mash with a deep tray beneath it (the tray must be deep enough to be able to contain all the blanching liquid and not overflow). With a soup ladle, pour the blanching liquid over the duck continuously, turning the duck over every now and then, till all the liquid has been used up.
  9. The skin of the duck would have wrinkled by now. Pat it dry with paper towels, replace the tray that has been filled with the blanching liquid with another empty tray now. Together with the duck on the wire mesh, place the duck in the fridge to allow it to dry completely. (I leave it overnight in the fridge or you can hang it up to dry).
  10. Roast the duck the following day on a wire rack with a tray beneath it. In a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C, roast the duck with the breast side up, on grill mode for approximately 1 hour 30 mins, turning the duck once halfway through.
  11. 10 minutes before the roasting is up, flip the duck over again and switch from grill mode to one with fan mode on and continue blasting for another 10-15 minutes till the duck is browned more evenly.
  12. Once done, remove the duck and allow it to cool for around 30 minutes. Remove the bamboo skewers and release the sauce within into a bowl. Drain the sauce well, reserving only the liquid.
  13. Prepare the chili sauce as above mentioned. However, I used a mini food processor to grind all the ingredients into paste-liked this time.
  14. Cut the duck into pieces and add the sauce over before serving.


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