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Slow-roast Chinese duck [Recipe]

A lovely way to roast a duck. The bird marinates in some classic Cantonese flavours then cooks very slowly, with the occasional baste, until its skin is auburn and glistening and its flesh is tender. Perfect, as here, for a latish Sunday lunch for two.

Slow-roast Chinese duck

Serves 2-4

1 free range duck
Piece of ginger a bit bigger than your thumb, peeled and finely chopped
2-4 red chillies, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsps oyster sauce
3 tbsps honey
2 tbsps rice wine
2 tbsps dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
2 star anise
2 tsps five-spice powder
2 tbsps sesame oil
1 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil

Score the duck in a criss-cross pattern across both breasts. Mix together all the marinade ingredients, slather over the duck and place in a snug roasting tin, breast-side down. Leave to marinate for as long as you can, ideally overnight.

Preheat the oven to 160ÂșC. Turn the duck breast-side up, sprinkle generously with sea salt and place in the oven. Roast for an hour, basting half-way through, then drain off as much fat as possible from the roasting tin and baste again before returning to the oven. Cook for a further 90 minutes, basting as often as you can be bothered – at least every 30 minutes. When the time's up, leave the duck to rest for 20 minutes, loosely covered in foil.

If you like, concentrate the 'sauce' by boiling the tin over the hob while the duck is resting. Pour this over the carved, sliced duck and serve with rice, fresh coriander and pak choi steamed with oyster and soy sauces and a few drops of sesame oil.


  1. This is too much. I fear that drool may actually escape from my mouth and run down my chin. I want to come to your house for Sunday lunch, please. I know the usual thing is to be invited, but well, sod it.

  2. looks delicious. have you ever tried boiling the duck first before you marinade it?

  3. Looks delicious. Slow roasted duck is one of my favorites when it comes to Chinese food.

  4. Looks delightful. Love the plate too.

  5. Helen - Haha, thanks.

    Basia - Yeah I have. Not convinced it's necessary in this case.

    Tobias - Cheers. It is lovely.

    George - Many thanks. Plate isn't actually mine, but I'll pass on the compliment.

  6. I love that plate too. Great recipe!