A classic recipe for crispy Peking duck by Ken Hom. This famous dish is made with deliciously roasted duck, dried and marinated with five spice and Sichuan pepper
The preparation and cooking of Peking duck in China is an art itself. Specially raised ducklings are fed a rich diet of maize, sorghum, barley and soya bean for 1½ months before they are ready for the kitchen.
After the ducks are killed and cleaned, air is pumped through the windpipe to separate the skin from the meat.

This allows the skin to roast separately and remain crisp, while the fat melts, keeping the meat moist.
Hot water is then poured over the duck to close the skin pores and it is hung up to dry.
During the drying process, a solution of malt sugar is liberally brushed over the duck and it is then roasted in a wood-burning oven using wood from fruit trees, which gives the duck a unique fragrance.
The result is a shiny, crisp and aromatic duck with beautiful brown skin, moist flesh and no fat.
Traditionally, Peking duck is served with Chinese pancakes, spring onions cut into brush shapes and sweet bean or Hoisin sauce.
Each guest spoons some sauce onto a pancake. Then a helping of crisp skin and meat is placed on top, with a spring onion brush, and the entire mixture is rolled up like a stuffed pancake.
It can be eaten using chopsticks or with your fingers.
This makes an unforgettable dish for a very special dinner party.

Photo: Amanda Conradie