Crispy Fragrant Duck

Chinese New Year

This post comes to us courtesy of cookbook author and television personality Ching He Huang.


Crispy Fragrant Duck
My signature crispy fragrant duck is a favorite with friends and family and duck is traditionally served as they symbolize fidelity eaten on most special occasions such as New Year and in particular at weddings.


The duck can be roasted a day in advance and refrigerated.  Before serving, bring duck to room temperature and then proceed as directed.

2 skin-on duck legs


For the marinade:
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
2 Tbs. Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
2 Tbs. runny honey
1 Tbs. chili sauce
1 Tbs. light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced


For the pickled radish salad:
1/4 lb. (100g) radishes, finely diced
1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and finely diced
1 medium red chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 Tbs. clear rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. caster sugar
1/2 tsp. Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
1 small handful of fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped


2 2/3 oz. (75g) potato flour or cornstarch
Peanut or vegetable oil for deep-frying
Pinch of salt
Pinch of crushed dried chilies


Place the duck legs in a bowl or sealable plastic bag and add the cinnamon, ginger, allspice, rice wine, honey, chili sauce, light soy sauce and garlic. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.


To make the pickled radish salad, in a bowl, stir together the radishes, cucumber, chili, vinegar, salt, caster sugar, rice wine and cilantro until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove the duck legs from the marinade and place them, rounded side up, in a roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes, then increase the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C) for 5 minutes to cook the meat to well-done. Remove the duck legs from the oven and set aside for 2 minutes to cool slightly.


Slice the duck into bite-size slices, then dust the slices in the flour to coat well.


Heat a wok or pan over high heat and fill one-fourth full with peanut oil. Heat the oil to 350°F (180°C) or until a cube of bread turns golden brown in 15 seconds.


Place the duck slices in a spider, lower into the oil and fry until crispy and golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.


To serve, spoon some pickled radish salad onto each plate and spoon some of the crispy duck slices on top. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and some crushed dried chilies over the duck and serve immediately. Serves 2 to 4.

To find out more about Ching, her great tasting recipes and her books, visit


To learn more about her US television shows, visit the Cooking Channel.


About the author: The face of Chinese cooking on British TV, Ching-He Huang’s dynamic approach to modern Chinese food led to a television presence in Great Britain before coming to America with her popular shows Chinese Food Made Easy and Easy Chinese: San Francisco on the Cooking Channel. Ching is also the author of four cookbooks, the bestselling Ching’s Chinese Food in Minutes, Chinese Food Made Easy and China Modern. Ching’s latest book, Ching’s Fast Food, is published by Harper Collins and is available on her website.

One comment about “Crispy Fragrant Duck

  1. A Chinese New Year Celebration You Can Prepare

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