a whole duck
Chinese five spice powder – 2 ½ tablespoons
root ginger – 5 large slices
spring onion – 5 roughly chopped
orange zest – 1 tablespoon
salt – 2 tablespoons
oil – 1 litre or enough to crisp your duck at the end
Pat the duck dry with kitchen roll, then rub it inside and out with the salt and five spice powder. Put it in a sealed container and leave it in the fridge overnight. Put the ginger, spring onions and orange zest inside the duck then put the whole duck on a rack and steam it in a wok for 2 to 2 ½ hours. You may need to replenish the water in the wok in this time. Discard the ginger, spring onion and orange zest and let the duck cool and dry for 2 hours.
There will be water and fat in the bottom of the wok. The fat should be kept in the fridge for other cooking. The water should be combined with the duck giblets and kept to combine with the duck bones when the flesh is eaten to make an absolutely delicious stock.
Section the duck into quarters and heat the oil in a pan to crisp the duck in the oil for around five minutes. Pat off the excess oil with kitchen paper, pull the duck off the bone and serve with rice, noodles, vegetables combined with hoi sin sauce or a sweet pickle. The duck meat also tastes great in a sandwich.
This is a long and precise way to prepare meat and it won’t be for everyone. Parts of it can however be applied to other dishes. For example pork, which is a particularly hard meat to digest, can be blanched, before a mixture of salt, spices and herbs is rubbed into its skin to produce magnificent crackling once it is in the oven.
As for the duck, once delicious meat has been produced like this, it goes a long way, eaten hot and fresh or added to stir fries or sandwiches.