Peking duck.

It’s official: Peking duck will play a starring role in my last meal. I am completely¬†obsessed. I love it and would eat it any time of day. These pics are from lunch at Red Eight in Wynn Macau, my third Peking experience. They have a completely open kitchen so you can see all of the duck preparations, as well as the traditional Peking brick oven.

So, I didn’t realize until I checked good ol’ Wikipedia that Peking duck is a little like veal or foie gras and, eek, I’m feeling a little bad about loving this so much–I had no idea. Peking ducks are raised in a free range environment for the first 45 days of their live and then they are force fed four times a day for the next 15-20 days before being killed. (That’s right: they only live for two months!) They then pump air through the bird to separate the fat from the skin. It’s soaked in boling water and then hung to dry for 24 hours.

At that point, it’s painted with a coat of maltose syrup (or barley sugar syrup) before being roasted over wooden coals.

The key to this dish has to be that syrup!

Peking duck is traditionally served with steamed pancakes, scallions and–the other key to this dish– sweet bean sauce, which is made from fermented yellow soybeans, wheat flour, sugar, and salt.

It’s sometimes served with cucumber and carrot sticks. At really nice places, they will bring the duck out whole and carve it in front of you. Red Eight is a little more casual so they brought it over pre-sliced. Supposedly, there are versions of this you can make at home–I will be investigating this!

In closing, I’m including a photo of a chef cutting up a century egg–more to come on that later as well when I’ve actually saved some room in my stomach post-duck to try it.

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3 responses to “Peking duck.

  1. I’m wondering how in the world I have lived my life without knowing this little (rather significant) tid-bit about the peking duck. I need to know more . . . do they serve the liver as “peking duck liver”? I’ll be hitting up wikipedia as well!

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