Peking Duck, a famous dish from Beijing, has been prepared since the Imperial era. Its succulent taste, aromatic flavors and crispy skin make it a favorite among food connoisseurs worldwide. Today, we’re going to explore the authentic way of preparing this decadent dish.
- A whole duck: This is the star of the show. The duck should be young and of a small variety for the best results.
- Honey, soy sauce, and sherry: These are used for the glaze which gives the duck its signature flavor and sheen.
- Five-spice powder: This is a mix of star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan (Chinese) peppercorns, and fennel seeds. It lends a complex, sweet and pungent flavor.
- Green onions and cucumber: These are used as garnish and to add a fresh, crisp contrast.
- Pancakes: Thin, steamed pancakes are used to wrap the sliced duck and garnish.
- Hoisin sauce: This thick, fragrant sauce is brushed onto the pancakes before adding the duck.
- Clean the duck: After cleaning the duck, air is pumped under the skin to separate it from the fat. The duck is then blanched in boiling water to tighten the skin.
- Glaze the duck: A glaze of honey, soy sauce, and sherry is then applied to the duck. The duck is hung to dry in a cool, dry place for a few hours.
- Roast the duck: The duck is roasted in an oven or a hung oven until the skin is deep golden brown and crisp. This usually takes about an hour, but times can vary based on the size of the duck and the exact temperature of the oven.
- Carve the duck: The duck is traditionally carved in front of the guests. The skin is served separately from the meat, and can be dipped in sugar and garlic sauce.
How to Enjoy Peking Duck
The traditional way to enjoy Peking duck is to take a pancake in one hand, then with chopsticks, add a slice of duck, a piece of cucumber and green onions, and finally a dollop of hoisin sauce. The pancake is then rolled up and enjoyed in mouthwatering bites. The combination of the crispy, flavorful duck with the fresh vegetables and sweet and savory sauce is truly a delight.
In the end, the enjoyment of Peking Duck is not just about the eating, but also about the preparation and presentation, making it a perfect dish for celebrations and special occasions.
So, are you ready to take on the challenge of making Peking Duck at home? With the right ingredients and a little patience, you can savor the authentic flavors of this classic Chinese dish in the comfort of your own kitchen.
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