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National Peking Duck Day

 

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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

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About Hadassah Sabo Milner

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HaDassah Sabo Milner is a Welsh Jew who lives in Monsey NY. She is a writer and a blogger and a lifelong foodie. She's married with four sons who provide her with much fodder for her writing projects. HaDassah is also a social media rockstar who can update multiple platforms simultaneously whilst cooking Shabbat dinner for 70. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter Twittr , and read her blog In The Pink .

 

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2 Responses to National Peking Duck Day

  1. avatar says: Ed Clark

    None of the photos look anything like true Peking Duck the way it’s supposed to be made. Furthermore, proper Peking Duck is indeed inflated to separate the skin from the flesh before it’s roasted… but it’s coated with honey & various aromatic substances, not sugar.
    Genuine Peking Duck is served in three sequences:
    1a. The server brings the whole cooked Peking Duck to your table, together with the accoutrements including small, thin crêpes, pickled veggies, shredded carrots & hoisin sauce.
    1b. The server prepares thin slices of the duck skin, with little or no duck meat adhering to it. For each person at the table, the server spreads some hoisin on a crêpe, places a slice of crispy duck skin on it, & then adds relishes such as the carrot shreds, scallions & the desired pickled veggies.
    1c. Once all the duck skin has been consumed, the server removes the skinless roasted duck from view.
    2a. The server asks how the diners would like the duck meat to be prepared (e.g., with mixed veggies, mushrooms, broccoli or whatever suits one’s fancy). 2b. This course of the meal is usually presented family-style, allowing the diners to serve themselves from the central tray. This course is usually accompanied by the diners’ preferred rice preparation.
    3. The duck carcass & tough-to-get-at bits are then boiled in broth with various vegetables to make the final course, Duck Soup, which is usually served in individual bowls, & eaten with spoons & chopsticks.
    4. All my Peking Duck experiences in NYC have been mediocre to grotesque, but there are several restaurants in Paris where they do a damn good job.

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