Crispy Duck Breast With Pancakes and Cucumber Pickle

No Chinese is complete without the crispy duck pancakes. Get cooking up this popular Chinese dish this Chinese New Year. Recipe taken from Chinese Unchopped.

Crispy Duck Breast With Pancakes and Cucumber Pickle
PREP TIME 30 minutes COOK TIME 30 minutes MAKES 4
  • 2 large duck breasts
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of Chinese 5-spice
  • 16-20 duck pancakes
  • For the cucumber pickle:
  • 1 spring onion
  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons of black rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of hot water
  • 8 crushed Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • Spicy Plum Dipping sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons of chilli garlic sauce
  • 4 teaspoons of plum sauce
  • A dash of dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water

Preparation method

  1. Preparation:
  2. To create the cucumber pickle, slice the spring onion and cucumber into fine matchsticks and place into a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together.
  3. Add the spicy plum sauce ingredients together into a separate small bowl.
  4. In a saucepan add the duck breast and cover with boiling water. Bring the saucepan to a boil and blanch for 2-3 minutes before removing from the pan and running under cold water. Once the duck is cool, pat the duck breast dry with a piece of kitchen towel and gently score with the tip of a sharp knife into diagonal cuts along the top of the skin, trying only to cut the fat and not the meat.
  5. Rub the salt onto the duck breast before dabbing the skin dry with kitchen paper. With the 5-spice, rub it onto the side and the bottom of the duck breast, avoiding the skin. Dab the skin dry once again to remove any excess moisture.
  6. Cooking:
  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  8. In a cold frying pan, place the duck skin-side down and let the pan heat up to a medium-high heat. Fry the duck for 6-8 minutes or until the skin has turned a crispy golden shade. While you are frying the duck, press down on the sides of the duck until the skin has turned crispy.
  9. Place the skin breast side up in a roasting tin and roast in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes or until the duck has turned to a shade of your liking. Remove the duck from the oven and leave it to rest for around 5 minutes.
  10. Whilst the duck is on the side resting, steam the pancakes with a bamboo steamer. For instructions on how to use a bamboo steamer- read this blog.
  11. Steam the pancakes for 2-5 minutes.
  12. Cut the duck into thin slices and serve alongside the pickle, dipping and steamed pancakes.