Authentic Chinese 5-Spice Peking Duck

"An authentic Chinese roasted duck that will leave you pleasantly surprised. Crispy skin and subtle flavors make this a great introduction to an unfamiliar bird."
photo by FLKeysJen photo by FLKeysJen
photo by FLKeysJen
photo by Peter J photo by Peter J
Ready In:
1 whole duck




  • thaw duck overnight in refrigerator.
  • remove giblets and trim excess fat from tail area or anywhere hanging.
  • pierce chopstick or skewer under wing and bring through to other side to pierce through under the other wing on the other side in order to give you a way to dunk and hang duck. wings may be removed if desired.
  • in large wok or pot bring water to a boil.
  • add in ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, xiao xing, and honey and stir to dissolve honey completely.
  • make a slurry with cornstarch (mix with water) then add to boiling mixture.
  • dunk duck into boiling mixture and spoon liquid over duck for a couple of minutes making sure you completely moisten duck and render some fat.
  • repeat process for another couple of minutes.
  • immediately hang duck in cool room with a fan on high pointed directly on duck. make sure you put a pot or similar under duck to catch drippings.
  • rotate duck to ensure even drying. should take about 5 hours. skin will become taunt and tight.
  • after 4-6 hours, rub duck with 5-spice powder to taste.
  • heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • place duck onto roasting or cooling rack on middle or top rack of oven with a large pan filled with about 2 inches of water on bottom rack of a 375 degree oven. this will catch any drippings, keep your oven clean, and keep duck moist.
  • roast uncovered for about 1-1 1/2 hours rotating it 2-3 times.
  • check internal temperature for doneness. mine was perfect at 175 degrees in the breast. note that convection ovens will cook duck quite fast.
  • remove duck and rest 10 minutes before serving whole or chopping Chinese style on the bone.

Questions & Replies

  1. OK, I get it. It's shown as the last ingredient, but is actually the first. Thanks. Derel
  2. I'm about to start the procedure, but the recipe doesn't specify how much water to start boiling. Is it important? Anyone? Derel


  1. Fun to make! Make sure you have a good spot for drying (think it was too hot and humid here).
  2. Awesome! Great technique that resulted in a super crispy skin with a wonderful aroma and flavour from the five spice. Rather than hang the duck I dried in a fan-forced oven with the fan on but heat off and door slightly ajar which worked well.


im a restaurant chef and personal chef with a love for food. i specialize in world cuisine.
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