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Peking Duck #2

This has to be the piece de resistance of any Chinese banquet. It is not too difficult to prepare and cook at home the secret is to use duckling with a low-fat content. Also, make sure that the skin of the duck is absolutely dry before you start to cook the drier the skin, the crispier the duck.
If preferred, serve Peking Duck with plum sauce in place of the duck sauce. Plum sauce is available from oriental stores and larger supermarkets. Duck sauce can also be bought ready-prepared.

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
2.25 kg (5 - 5 1/4 lb) oven-ready duckling
30 ml (2 tbsp) maltose or honey, dissolved in 150 ml (4 pint) 2/3 cup warm water

for the duck sauce

30 ml (2 tbsp) sesame oil
90 - 120 ml (6 - 8 tbsp) yellow bean sauce, crushed
30-45 ml (2 - 3 tbsp) light brown sugar

to serve

20 - 24 thin pancakes
6 - 8 spring onions, thinly shredded
1/2 cucumber, thinly shredded

method

1. Remove any feather studs and any lumps of fat from inside the vent of the duck. Plunge the duck into a saucepan of boiling water for 2 - 3 minutes to seal the pores.This will make the skin airtight, thus preventing the fat from escaping during cooking. Remove and drain well, then dry thoroughly.

2. Brush the duck all over with the dissolved maltose or honey, then hang the bird up in a cool place for at least 4 - 5 hours.

3. Place the duck, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting tin and cook in a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) Gas 6 for 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours without either basting or turning.

4. Meanwhile, make the duck sauce. Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan. Add the crushed yellow bean sauce and the light brown sugar. Stir until smooth and allow to cool.

5. To serve, peel off the crispy duck skin in small slices using a sharp carving knife or cleaver, then carve the Liicy meat in thin strips. Arrange the skin and meat on separate serving plates.

6. Open a pancake on each plate, spread about 5 ml (1 tsp) of the chosen sauce in the middle, with a few strips of shredded spring onions and cucumber. Top with 2 - 3 slices each of duck skin and meat. Roll up and eat.

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