Peking Duck

Preparation time

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 6–8

By Tong Chee Hwee
From Saturday Kitchen


  • 2 whole ducks, hairs removed

For the marinade

  • 15g/½oz Chinese five-spice powder
  • 50g/1¾oz salt
  • 40g/1½ oz caster sugar
  • 20g/¾oz chicken powder
  • 20g/¾oz fresh root ginger, sliced
  • 20g/¾oz spring onions, sliced
  • 300ml/10fl oz rice wine vinegar
  • 250g/9oz maltose

For the duck sauce

  • 180g/6oz hoi sin sauce
  • 30g/1oz crushed yellow bean sauce
  • 30g/1oz sesame sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 90g/3¼oz caster sugar

To serve

  • 18 shop-bought Chinese-style pancakes
  • 8 spring onions, julienned
  • ¼ cucumber, julienned
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Shopping List


  1. Rice wine vinegar (300ml/10fl oz)
  2. Caster sugar (40g/1½ oz)
  3. Maltose (250g/9oz)
  4. Hoisin sauce (180g/6oz)
  5. Sesame sauce (30g/1oz)
  6. Crushed yellow bean sauce (30g/1oz)
  7. Caster sugar (90g/3¼oz)
  8. Spring onions (20g/¾oz), sliced
  9. Fresh root ginger (20g/¾oz), sliced
  10. Chicken powder (20g/¾oz)
  11. Chinese five-spice powder (15g/½oz)
  12. Spring onions (8), julienned
  13. Cucumber (0.25), julienned
  14. Salt (50g/1¾oz)
  15. Shop-bought Chinese-style pancakes (18)
  16. Vegetable oil (2 tbsp)
  17. Whole ducks (2), hairs removed

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Alternative Ingredients


  1. Rice Wine Vinegar:
    • White wine vinegar: Similar acidity to rice wine vinegar, but with a bit less sweetness. You can add about ¼ teaspoon of sugar to 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar to achieve a similar flavour profile.
    • Apple cider vinegar: Can be used as a substitute, although it has a stronger flavour. Adjust the amount based on your taste preference.
  2. Maltose:
    • Brown rice syrup: Also known as rice malt, it’s extracted from rice starch and is about half as sweet as refined white sugar. It’s a good alternative for maltose.


  1. Marinate the Ducks:
    • Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
    • Rub the marinade inside the ducks.
  2. Prepare the Ducks:
    • Stuff the duck’s cavities with ginger and spring onion slices.
    • Shower the ducks with boiling hot water, then pat them dry with kitchen paper.
  3. Malt Coating:
    • In a saucepan, combine vinegar and 150ml/5fl oz water. Bring it to a boil.
    • Add maltose and mix over low heat until melted.
    • Brush this malt mixture onto the duck skin.
    • Leave the ducks in the fridge to air-dry for 1–2 days.
  4. Roasting:
    • On the serving day, preheat the oven to 185°C/175°C Fan/Gas 5.
    • Transfer the ducks to a roasting tin and roast for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
    • Turn the ducks over after 35 minutes.
    • Once cooked, the meat thermometer should read 80°C.
  5. Duck Sauce:
    • Mix hoisin sauce, yellow bean sauce, sesame sauce, and 120ml/4fl oz water in a bowl.
    • Transfer to a saucepan and cook over low heat for 2–3 minutes.
    • Add oil and sugar, mix, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Serve:
    • Steam the pancakes for 7 minutes.
    • Carve the duck and serve it alongside the pancakes, cucumber, spring onions, and duck sauce.
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