National Peking Duck Day

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peking duck

What is Peking Duck exactly? It is a Chinese dish from Beijing (called Peking in the past) that has been around since the Imperial era and is now considered one of China's national dishes. It is made from a species of duck called the Pekin Duck which is a large white duck. The duck is prepared and cooked in such a way that the skin becomes extremely crispy. The cooked duck is generally sliced in front of the diners and is traditionally served with pancakes, spring onions, vegetable side dishes and a bean sauce. The slices of the duck, together with the onions and some vegetables, are piled in the middle of the pancake. The pancake is rolled up and dipped into the sauce. Alternatively, the sauce is spread on the pancakes before the meat and vegetables are placed on it.

Five fun facts:

  1. The TV character Donald Duck was based on a Pekin Duck.
  2. The Pekin Duck has white feathers and an orange bill and feet.
  3. Before cooking the duck air is pumped through the skin to separate it from the fat.
  4. The skin is coated with sugar before roasting, which is what gives it that crispy skin.
  5. In China Peking Duck used to be a dish that only nobles could afford.

Five great duck recipes:

  1. Duck & Strawberry Salad with Rhubarb Dressing - Strawberries provide a sweet counterpoint to rich duck breasts. Here, they meet in a quick salad for two, dressed with a rhubarb vinaigrette. Showcase the fruity, tangy dressing and the smoky grilled duck with the smoky, raspberry character of a Syrah wine.
  2. Crispy Pan Roasted Duck with Strawberry-Rhubarb Chutney - Strawberries and rhubarb team up again to create one of our favorite combos. This is a spring time favorite. The assertive duck is complimented by the sweet and sour Chutney. The dish is mouthwatering delicious and pretty.
  3. Duck Prosciutto - This "prosciutto" is so much like the real thing, but with a special character all its own, you'll be amazed. Pair this with grilled figs, a traditional prosciutto accompaniment, but that's just the beginning. Try it draped over melon, wrapped around asparagus spears or, diced and sautéed, as a salad garnish.
  4. Orange-Roasted Duck - Orange marmalade and soy sauce glaze give this Orange-Roasted Duck an extra irresistible, rich, gamy taste.
  5. Honey Tarragon Roast Duck - With five ingredients, you can see that roasting duck does not have to be complicated.

Click for more Duck Recipes.

Nutritional information for one 3 oz serving of Roast Duck:

Calories: 172
Fat:  9 g
Carbohydrates: 0 g
Cholesterol:  116 mg
Sodium:  71 mg
Protein: 21 g