Cantonese Roast Duck Recipes

Cantonese Roast Duck Recipes
Cantonese Roast Duck Recipes. Getty Images
  • 2 hrs 55 mins
  • Prep: 2 hrs,
  • Cook: 55 mins
  • Yield: Serve 4-6 people
Ratings (5)

Cantonese people love all kind of different roast meats. Go into many Cantonese restaurants in the West and almost any Cantonese restaurant in the East and you’ll see roast duck, roast goose, roast chicken and roast pork belly. My personal favourite roast poultry dish within Cantonese cuisine is “roast goose”. The flavour is simply amazing! The meat of the goose is cooked perfectly, it’s tender and juicy. But nowadays less and less Cantonese restaurants are making roast goose, even those in Hong Kong and the surrounding regions.


Cantonese roast duck is still really delicious though and if you’ve haven’t tried roast goose then it’s definitely not the end of the world if you’re stuck with roast duck. Within this article there are two different Cantonese roast duck recipes, the first from myself and the second from our former Chinese food writer. You can choose either but I must state I have never been to a Cantonese restaurant in the East where they served roast duck with stuffing. Maybe this is an American-Chinese method.


You can serve roast duck with some stir-fry vegetables and cooked rice or you can serve it Peking style with some Chinese pancakes, sliced or julienned spring onions, sliced cucumber and hoisin sauce or sweet bean sauce.


Edited by Liv Wan.


What You'll Need

  • Recipe 1
  • This recipe is from Liv Wan.
  • 2kg of duck (4 pounds, 6 ounces)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 empty wine bottle (this can help the duck stand up.)
  • Recipe 1 Marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, mince it
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon sugar, I prefer using demerara sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1 chenpi
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon water 
  • Recipe 2
  • This recipe is from our former Chinese food expert.
  • Recipe 2 ingredients:
  • One 4.5lb (2kg) oven-ready duckling
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons maltose or honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon red food coloring (optional)
  • About ½ pint (280ml) warm water
  • Recipe 2 stuffing:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon yellow bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour

How to Make It

Recipe 1 procedures:

  1. Marinade the duck with all the marinade ingredients over night. I would marinade the duck for 24 hours before cooking.
  2. Put all the ingredients for the maltose and vinegar water in a small saucepan and boil it. Make sure it’s completely combined together and turn off the fire. Leave it aside.
  3. Boil a big pot of water. I would boil probably 2-3 litres of water because we are going to pour this water on the duck to make the skin crispier after it has cooked.
  1. Stuff the duck with a wine bottle and place it in a clean sink. Take a ladle to scoop some boiled water and pour it on the duck. Make sure you pour the hot water onto every part of duck. Be very careful when you are doing this procedure. After you have done this, leave the duck to dry.
  2. Use a brush to brush the maltose and vinegar water on every inch of the duck skin and leave it to dry. Repeat this procedure 3-4 times.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius or 428 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Place the duck on a roasting rack, pierce the orange a few times then stuff it in the duck and roast the duck for 35 minutes. Then turn the oven temperature down to 180 degrees Celsius (356 Fahrenheit) and roast for another 20 minutes. I would turn the duck around a few times for better results. Make sure you also baste the duck with the maltose water at least a couple times during cooking.

Prep time: 2 hours

Cook time: 55 minutes
Marinade time: Over night 


Recipe 2 Procedures:

  1. Clean the duck well. Remove the wing tips and the lumps of fat from inside the vent.
  2. Blanch in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes, remove and dry well, then rub the duck with salt and tie the neck tightly with string.
  3. Make the stuffing by heating the oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients, bring to the boil and blend well. Pour the mixture into the cavity of the duck and sew it up securely.
  4. Dissolve the maltose or honey with vinegar and red food colouring (if using) in warm water, brush it all over the duck- give it several coatings, then hang the duck up (head down) with an S-Shaped hook to dry in an airy and cool place for at least 4-5 hours.
  1. Took cook: preheat the oven to 400 degreees F. (200degrees C./Gas 6) Hang the duck head down on the top rack and place a try of boiling water at the bottom of the oven.
  2. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. (180 degrees C., Gas 4) after 25 minutes or so, and cook for a further 30 minutes, basting with the remaining coating mixture once or twice.
  3. To serve: let the duck cool down a little, then remove the string and pour out the liquid stuffing to be used as gravy. Chop the duck into bite-sized pieces, then serve hot or cold with gravy poured over it.

    * This recipe is reprinted with permission from Chinese Cookery Secrets: How to Cook Chinese Resturant Food at home, by Deh-Ta Hsiung.