Beijing Roast Duck

Beijing Roast Duck

Beijing Roast Duck

Due to the recession Chris and I had a really tough year in 2009. Chris was out of work for around nine months and I had three months off work sick following working part time for several months, so things were difficult.

Finally we both now have full time jobs and we’re earning fairly good money between us. So, I decided to cook one of our absolute favourite things, Beijing roast duck.

Duck has always been one of my favourite foods, especially Beijing roast duck. We went to a Chinese restaurant in Shanghai called “Duck King” before and they service this amazing Beijing roast duck. The roast duck there is incredibly juicy and tasty but not too rich.

I searched for many recipes for this roast duck and I changed it a little to make it easier to cook at home for both myself and you.

One of the most difficult parts of Beijing roast duck is the preperation of it. In China they block air between the skin and duck to make the skin really crispy. But there are no restaurants in the UK that do this and it’s certainly impossible for us to do this without a considerable investment.

This might sound a little crazy but I was thinking about buying a pump to help roast this duck.

A lot of the recipes I read however did say that for those who are unable to blow air between the skin and meat you can pour boiling

As I read a lot of recipes and they said people who don’t have the right tool to blow the air into duck can pour the boiling hot water onto the skin to make it crispy.

After making this dish I think the skin was pretty crispy but definitely not as crispy as the duck skin in China. However, my roast duck is still really tasty and both Chris and I love it. I hope you will enjoy my roast duck recipe and have fun cooking it.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

Beijing roast duck wrap


Beijing Roast Duck

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 2 people



  • 1 duck
  • 1 orange only use the juice


  • 1 leaf tangerine peel
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 slices dried liquourice
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 tbsp maltose
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine

Ingredients for Beijing Duck Wraps

  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup cold water



  1. Wash the duck and use kitchen napkin to dry the duck and stuff a wine bottle into duck and make it can stand up.
  2. Pour the boiling water on the duck for a few times and leave it on aside.
  3. Use a small sauce pan to cook sugar (the way I prepare this duck preparation is a bit like prepare caramel for cream caramel) and when you cook the sugar use a wooden spoon to gently stir it to help the sugar melt quickly and then add maltose and all the spice into the sauce pan when the sugar turn into a nice caramel colour and start to add a little bit of orange juice, rice wine and vinegar each time (please stand a safe distance as the sugar will splash when you pour the liquid onto it and can be incredibly hot) Make sure the mixture of sugar looks a bit runny but still dense.
  4. Brush the sugar mixture we made in steps 3 on to duck and make sure you brush every inch of the duck skin. Leave it to dry for 1 hour and we brush again. Do this procedure for 3~4 times at least.
  5. Preheat your oven to 240℃ and roast the duck for 20~25 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on your duck in case it burns. Turn the oven temperature down to 160℃ and roast for another 20~30 minutes (I put a rolling pin into the duck and hang the duck in the oven).
  6. Serve with some Beijing duck wraps (Dan Bings), hoisin sauce, cucumber or any kind of salad leafs you like. I used a bit of watercress as I like the taste of watercress. We also serve the roast duck with spring onion as well but we only use the white part of spring onion. I personally don’t like my duck wrap with spring onion in it because I can’t stand the taste of raw spring onion.

Procedures for Beijing Duck Wraps

  1. Place all the flour into a big mixing bowl and pour 1 cup of boiling water in the flour and use a pair of chopsticks or a spatula to mix them evenly.
  2. Add 1/3 cup of cold water into step 1 and knead the dough by your hands until the dough is smooth.
  3. Leave the step 1 for 15~20 minutes and cover by a wet kitchen napkins.
  4. Use a knife to separate the dough we made into small balls (Depends on what kind of size of pancake you like) and use a rolling pin to roll it to thin and flat.
  5. Heat a non-sticky frying pan with lower heat without oil to bake the pancake until the surface get bubbles and turn it over to bake again. This procedure will take 20~30 seconds for each side.

Recipe Notes

We call the Beijing Duck Wraps Dan Bings in Chinese. They're like a cross between a pancake and a crepe but for simplicity I've just called them Beijing Duck Wraps for this recipe