I’ve put off starting this blog for long enough I guess.  It’s so much easier and quicker to just post a picture on facebook with a short caption. But then this allows me more room to share anecdotes, recipes and thoughts on food, cooking, perhaps even life and love.

Chinese Roast Duck

Anyway, to kick this off, allow me to share with you a recipe for Roast Duck, one of my favourite dishes.

I love duck.  Duck Confit, Smoked Duck, Teochew Braised Soya Sauce Duck – it’s all good. But to me, Chinese Roast Duck is hands-down the best.  I’d always wanted to learn how to make it, how to get the skin so thin and crackly, while at the same time keeping the meat moist, tender and juicy. I’d done Confit and Braised Soya Duck, but never Roast Duck. After all, it only takes a short drive out anywhere to get pretty decent and affordable roast duck here in Singapore! But you see, I enjoy the challenge of trying my hand at cooking what I like eating. Just so I know I can do it myself if I wanted to. So yesterday I finally did it. Roast Duck.  It was easier than I’d expected, and what a hit it turned out to be!

This recipe is based on Tyler Florence’s Chinatown Steamed and Roasted Duck recipe on foodnetwork.com.  I tweaked slightly the quantities for some of the ingredients but I followed the method exactly.  The end product was a mouth-wateringly sweet, crackly skin, and tender, juicy, flavourful meat bearing the aroma of orange, ginger and spice. My two girlfriends and I were smacking our lips and licking our fingers as we polished off one entire duck. 


1 whole duck (about 2.4kg)
Dry Marinade

1 tbs Five Spice
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt

Aromatics (for stuffing into duck cavity)

15 big slices ginger
2 whole garlics, skin removed, cloves separated and smashed
A bunch of spring onion (enough to grab in one hand)
Orange or tangerine peel from 1 orange or tangerine, in strips
For Glaze
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup honey (I used half honey and half maple syrup)
1/2 cup light soya sauce


Clean duck, trimming and removing fat, feet, head and neck. Rinse and dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Mix Dry Marinade ingredients together and rub all over the duck, inside and out.  Leave in fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight.

Ginger, garlic, spring onion and orange peel stuffed into duck
Stuff Aromatics into the cavity of the duck, tie the legs together, pierce all over the skin on breast side (using a skewer), place duck on a wire rack breast side up in a wok/steamer filled with about 1.5 to 2 inches of water, then cover, and steam for 45 mins.  This is to render the fat from the duck.  At the same time, steaming shrinks the duck, which also helps get us that crispy skin when roasting.

Steam duck for 45 minutes

Heat the Glaze in a small saucepan till boiling, simmer 5 to 10 minutes until thickened slightly, then set aside.

After steaming the duck for 45 minutes, remove it from the wok or steamer.  Place duck on a wire rack over an oven-proof tray, and baste with the glaze thoroughly, before placing in a preheated oven at 190 degrees celsius to roast for 1 hour.

Baste the duck every 20 minutes while roasting, and tent with foil if necessary to prevent the skin from getting too dark.

Hope you enjoy this!