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Sachie’s Peking Duck with Molasses


Peking Duck is a well known Chinese dish from Beijing that is always served with a huge wow-factor. When you go to restaurants in China, they will carve the duck in front of you and serve them with different condiments which is normally spring onion, cucumber, sauce and pancakes.  If you follow the traditional way of making this, it takes 2 days – most of the time is used for hanging the duck to dry. As much as I love traditions, sometime I prefer simplicity. I have used duck breast to prepare this dish rather than whole duck, and you can get your guests to assemble their own little packages of deliciousness. Alternatively you can buy a cooked roast duck from an Asian store!


Makes 18




440g Duck breast

1 Tbsp Molasses / honey

1/4 tsp Five-Spice ** see my Five Spice Mix below **

1/4 tsp Salt


18 Peking Duck Pancake

1 Lebanese cucumber

3 Spring onions


Sauce (this will make 100ml)

16g Tamarind block

5 Tbsp Water

4 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce

2 tsp Soy sauce

2 tsp Sugar


Sachie’s Five Spice Mix:

1 Tbsp Star Anise, grounded

1 Tbsp Cinnamon, grounded

1 Tbsp Fennel, grounded

2 tsp Sichuan pepper, grounded

1 tsp Clove, grounded








  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Boil water in a large pot, place a bamboo basket over the top and cover with lid. We will use this for steaming the pancakes later on.


  1. Bring about 1 litre of water to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Dissolve molasses and add the duck breast to the water to give the duck a bath! Poach for 20 seconds and remove from the water. Pat dry with kitchen paper.


  1. Score the duck breast with knife (be careful not to cut the flesh underneath of the skin). Flip over and season the flesh side with Five-Spice and salt.


  1. Place the duck in a cold frying pan, skin side down (you don’t need any oil here) and heat up the pan to medium high heat. Cook the duck for 5-6 minutes or until the skin becomes a crispy and golden colour. Remove the oil from the duck in the pan and flip the duck over to cook the other side for couple of minutes. Place the frying pan into the oven (if your frying pan is not suitable for oven, then place the duck to oven tray) and cook for 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 8-10minutes.


  1. While waiting for the duck, let’s make the sauce and steam the pancake. To make the sauce, put the Tamarind and 5 Tbsp of water to a small pot and bring to boil – use a wooden spoon to break the Tamarind block to small pieces. Once it’s boiled, keep stirring, reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Remove from heat, add the rest of ingredients to the pot and stir to dissolve sugar. Use a sieve to remove tamarind pulp from the sauce. Set aside.


  1. Lay a cooking paper at the bottom of the bamboo basket and place the Peking Duck Pancakes. Cover with the lid and steam for couple of minutes. Alternatively you can use your steamer to heat up the pancake.


  1. Julienne slice the bottom 5cm of Spring onion and cut the Lebanese Cucumber into stick size.  Slice the duck into small spices. You can serve it just like this and get the people eating to assemble their own little pancake.




Pantry Note:

Tamarind Block:

Tamarind is a key component in different Asian countries as it provides a special sweet and sour flavour. It is readily available at Asian grocers and some supermarkets in block form. I prefer to use the block rather than using Tamarind puree as they tend to be very sour and doesn’t have a natural sweetness.

Peking Duck Pancake:

It is made from wheat flour, water, oil and salt and you can make at home if you like! But it is readily available in Asian grocery stores nowadays so why not use them! They are in the freezer section and you will most likely find next to dumpling, won ton or spring roll pastries.

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