Peking Blinder

Fuss Free Peking duck with pancakes

You know sometimes there's not much to say but to share something that's a super tasty classic and a fuss-free version at that! 

Each week I tutor one to one with a 15 year old and we swap between sweet and savoury each time.  This week we tackled something that I have never made before but I love to eat. Peking duck in pancakes. You know the little ones with cucumber and spring onions all tucked up in a tiny thin pancake.....

If you can't get hold of some duck legs you could ask your butcher to joint a duck or have a go yourself; The legs are only going to get roasted so neatness isn't important! I guess if you wanted to you could use canned duck confit.  

Rub each duck leg with a teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice, place them on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 190 degrees C for 45 minutes, then turn and give them another 45 minutes. If they start to brown too much just turn the oven down to 170 degrees. 

To prepare the pancakes make a basic unleavened bread dough by mixing in a bowl... 

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • A pinch of salt

Use a spatula or palate knife to bring the mixture together. Once it's resembling a rough dough, tip it out onto the work surface, pull it together into a ball and knead it for 10 minutes. Then wrap it and leave in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes whilst you make the hoisin sauce.

In a small saucepan put all the sauce ingredients below and heat gently on a low heat until for 3-5 minutes. It doesn't need to boil just come to a gentle simmer and warm through. I wanted my sauce a bit thicker so I put a teaspoon of cornflour mixed with a teaspoon of water in a ramekin. Stirred it together and added it to the sauce. Add it bit by bit to get the consistency marmalade! 

  • 120g packet of Amoy black bean sauce
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Leave the sauce to one side to cool. Meanwhile, trim the roots off 2 bunches of spring onions and then cut them in half to 3-5cm widthways and then cut them into long strips. Peel the skin off a cucumber, slice in half lengthways, scoop out the soft middle. Then cut into sticks the same size as the spring onions.

Take the pancake dough out of the fridge. It needs to be made into about 24 pieces.....the easiest way to do this is by chopping it in half, and then continuing to keep chopping the dough in half as evenly as you can! They should be about the size of a gobstopper.

Flour the work surface well and flatten out the piece of dough, then roll it out as thin as you can before placing in a dry frying pan which is on a medium heat. Cook on each side for 1 minute, then remove to a clean tea towel and cover it over. Repeat for all the dough. It may be quicker to use more than 1 frying pan! You don't really want any colour just to cook them briefly.

Decant the sauce into a little bowl, shred the duck off the bone using 2 forks and get ready to serve your tasty morsels!!

  • If you wanted to try and make a more authentic sauce you could use 150g black bean paste, 50g of water and 120g of caster sugar instead of the Amoy sauce along with the other ingredients

These are the two recipes I referenced to make this recipe if you want some more inspiration!

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/19/how-to-make-chinese-duck-pancakes

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/apr/03/how-to-make-chinese-crispy-duck-recipe