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Peking Duck(Beijing Duck): Recipe, and How to Eat It

Peking duck(Beijing duck) is one of China's largest culinary exports.

Binch into the hill of crispy duck skin, juicy meat, turnips, cucumbers, green onions and sweet bean paste neatly wrapped in thin pancakes, and you'll see why Peking duck has appealed to the stomach for centuries – including the stomach of ancient Chinese emperors.

It is said that roast duck was first introduced in Nanjing more than 1,500 years ago, when the city was the seat of the ancient Chinese imperial regime.

The capital moved to Beijing in the 1400s, and the royal family brought those delicious roast duck recipes – and chefs – with them.

It was there that our current way of enjoying ducks was invented and then promoted around the world.

Peking Roasted Duck

Why is Peking Duck Famous?

Peking duck with mandarin pancakes

Peking roast duck was a court food in ancient times, because it was a court food, and then made for the emperor to eat, in the workmanship is extremely exquisite, the ingredients are also extremely careful, in the raw materials are the best selection of raw materials. The raw material selected for Peking duck is Peking duck. The duck baked in this way is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Unlike roast duck in other places, he has a unique taste in it, and then gives people the feeling that they can't get tired of eating, that is, the feeling of fat but not greasy. With its unique taste, the Peking duck enjoys a world-class reputation in the world and is one of the famous dishes in Beijing and one of the representatives of Beijing.

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The History of Peking Duck

A whole roasted duck

Peking roast duck is known as "the world's first dish" and has a history of many years. History records that in the Ming and Qing dynasties, from princes and nobles to wealthy merchants and merchants, roast duck was listed as a treasure for banquet guests, and every meal was a must-have. The Qianlong Emperor and Empress Dowager Cixi of the Qing Dynasty also loved roast duck. Today, it is the grand finale of the grand banquet, and guests from all over the world are proud to taste Peking duck. Beijing Roast Duck Restaurant is second to none refers to Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant located on Qianmen West Street, and I think one of the most important reasons why Quanjude's roast duck is popular with customers, is that it maintains the traditional production method. The first is the selection of materials, the raw material must be filled with fertilizer Beijing duck, with 55~56 days old and a live weight of more than 2.5 kg as the standard. Roasted with peaches, pears, apricots, walnuts, and fruitwood, the duck roasted has a fruity aroma, which is definitely better than the duck roasted by an electric stove and coal fire. The duck has a tempting aroma as soon as it comes out of the oven. What's more worth mentioning is that it is freshly grilled and eaten, served when it comes out of the oven, eaten in the mouth, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, the meat is delicious, fatty but not greasy, and crispy in the mouth. Nowadays, Beijing roast duck has taken root and blossomed in major and medium-sized cities in China, and has spread to major and medium-sized cities in the world, becoming a representative of Chinese cuisine and a famous brand.

Peking Duck Cooking Method

Peking Duck Cooking Method

An authentic Peking duck can take up to three days to prepare. It is an intensely complex process with many requirements.

The duck must be of the white Beijing variety and of superior quality, a "force-fed duck" that weighs about three kilograms.

Day 1: Slaughter the duck. Pluck, eviscerate, and rinse thoroughly with water. The neck bone must be removed without breaking the skin, then the duck is hung to dry overnight.

Day 2: Compressed air is injected into the duck between its skin and flesh to make the skin glossy and shiny. Then, once again, it is hung to dry with a glaze added to the skin.

Day 3: The duck is roasted in a wood-fired brick oven for around 40 minutes. Through using a less-smoky, hardwood fuel like fruit tree branches (pear, peach, or date branches for instance), the duck has a fruity flavor and is red. It is roasted until the skin is crackly crisp and then served immediately.

How to Cook Beijing Duck at Home in a Simpler Way

Peking Duck Cooking Method

It is difficult to make a real Peking duck at home because it not only requires that the skin be separated from the meat by forcing pumped air between the skin and the meat, but also that it is roasted over fruit tree wood to impart a special flavor and aroma.

As these two processes are not easily implemented at home, here we introduce a simpler process for cooking Beijing duck:

1. Make a small hole at the bottom of the duck and take out the viscera. Then wash the duck.

2. Place the duck on a rack. Boil a pot of boiling water, and slowly poured the hot water over the duck. Making sure to get it on all sides. The skin immediately shrinks and tightens around the duck.

3. Mix soy sauce, wine, and salt in a bowl and massage it into the duck, and then let it sit for about an hour.

4. Dilute honey with water and apply it to the duck’s skin. (This is for the crispy skin effect.) You may want to do this more than once.

5. Leave the duck on a plate uncovered, and put it in the refrigerator overnight (5-6 hours) to let the skin dry out.

6. Put the duck in an oven, set the temperature to 350°F (180°C), and roast for about 40 minutes. The color of the duck will become brown and red and shiny. Serve immediately!

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