Buck ging ngap

Buck ging ngap

Peking duck

By
From
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Serves
6
Photographer
Alan Benson

One duck yields three separate dishes, for after the crisp skin is eaten with mandarin pancakes (this is the most important course and what is meant by ‘Peking duck’) the flesh is served separately and the bones used to make a rich soup. But of course the soup needs long simmering and cannot be served at the same meal. Having had a demonstration in Hong Kong of how to make and how to carve this famous dish I decided that, delicious though it is, it is too time-consuming to prepare often. But for those who, like me, are willing to try anything at least once, here’s the best method. Try to get a duck complete with head — not an easy task in these days of politely packaged frozen poultry devoid of all extremities; if you have access to a Chinese delicatessen, however, they may be purchased there. The vodka is not traditional, but it works!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2.5kg duck
2 teaspoons salt
80ml vodka
1 tablespoon honey
Pok pang, to serve
spring onion, to serve
hoisin sauce, to serve
1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and thinly sliced lengthways

Method

  1. Wash the duck, drain well and dry thoroughly with paper towel, inside and out. Pick off any pin feathers or quills that remain. Rub the salt inside the body cavity and put the duck on a large plate. Spoon the vodka over and rub all over the duck. Leave for 4 hours, turning the bird from time to time so all the skin is in contact with the vodka.
  2. In a bowl, stir to dissolve the honey in 750 ml hot water. Rub this mixture into the skin of the duck to coat. Truss the bird and tie a string around its neck, then hang the duck in front of an electric fan or, if the weather is cool enough, in a breezy place. Leave it to dry for at least 4 hours. (The Chinese chef inflated the skin of the bird, before hanging it, by blowing through a tiny hole in the skin of the duck’s neck just above where he would tie the string. He did it as effortlessly as if blowing up a child’s balloon, but it isn’t as easy as it looked.) If the duck has no head, tie a piece of kitchen string around the top of the neck.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Put the duck on a rack in a roasting tin with hot water in it. The duck must be well above the water. Cook for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 150ºC and continue roasting for 1 hour. Increase the heat to 190ºC again and continue roasting until the skin is crisp and brown all over and the duck is tender. Remove from the oven and serve with accompaniments.
  4. The duck is carved at the table, only the skin being cut away into thin pieces. These are put on a flat plate and presented ungarnished to guests. Each guest places a piece of skin on a pancake, dips a spring onion brush into hoisin sauce and brushes it over the pancake and duck, then wraps the spring onion and a few cucumber slivers into the pancake and eats it. The duck meat can also be carved and served on a separate plate for eating with the pancakes. Alternatively, the flesh of the duck is cut away from the bones in slivers, quickly stir-fried with spring onion, capsicum or fresh bean sprouts, and served as a separate course.
Tags:
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Charmaine
Solomon
Asian
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