Roasted Chinese Duck
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
For the Duck:
  • 1 duck, about 5-6 pounds
  • 3 teaspoons Chinese 5-Spice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
For the Cavity:
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, minced (if you can find a hot Asian pepper, use that instead, but I had jalapeno, so I used that)
  • 2 tablespoons peach jam or orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  1. Remove any gizzards and other pieces from the inside of the duck. Using the largest pot that you have, bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the duck in the water, submerging it as much as possible (I had to flip mine because the pot I used didn't end up being big enough). Allow the duck to boil for 4-5 minutes, then remove it from the water and place on a clean cutting board. Discard the water.
  2. Now, get your cavity filling ready. Mince the garlic, ginger, and jalapeno pepper, and add to a food processor or blender (or a mortar and pestle if you don't have one of these). Add in the jam, sugar, cider vinegar, coriander, paprika, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth, then add to a pot, add in 2 tablespoons of water, and cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, until slightly reduced. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Rub your duck all over with the combined Chinese 5-Spice, salt, and red pepper flakes. Fill the duck with the garlic and ginger mixture, then close up the cavity however is easiest for you - I used twine and sealed the duck by cutting a small hole in the skin and threading it through. It doesn't have to be pretty! You just want it closed so that as much flavor as possible penetrates the duck. Place the duck in a roasting pan or on a baking sheet with a cooling rack on top, then brush with the 2 tablespoons of honey (you can use more honey, if you like). Now, this is a KEY step, so please do not skip it: place the duck in your refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours. This is done so that the skin becomes as dry as possible, therefore as crispy as possible. If you can hang it from somewhere in your home overnight, that is even better, but I didn't have a place to do this in my apartment, so in the fridge it went. You can leave it in there as long as overnight, too - I left mine in there for about 6 hours, then let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before putting it in the oven.
  4. When the duck is ready, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place the duck breast side up on the middle rack, and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes or so, until the duck is crispy and the meat is cooked. You can put the duck under the broiler for 5 minutes, too, if you like, when it is done, just to give it that extra crispy skin.
  5. When the duck is ready, cover it and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before you slice it. While it rests, make your dipping sauce. Remove the contents of the duck's cavity by picking it up and emptying it into a medium sized pot. Add in the sauce ingredients (sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and cornstarch mixed with water) and bring to a boil. Taste, adjust seasonings as necessary, and serve alongside your roasted duck. May I suggest serving this duck with some scallion pancakes?
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at