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Chinese Roast Duck Legs recipe

Chinese Roast Duck Legs recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Duck
  • Roast duck
  • Roast duck legs

Marinated duck legs are cooked with star anise, five-spice, soy sauce, cinnamon, chillies, plums and pears. Enjoy with freshly cooked rice.

24 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 duck legs
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 handful whole star anise pods
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 fresh chillies, seeded and sliced
  • 12 plums, seeded and halved
  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 4 pears, quartered

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:2hr ›Extra time:1day marinating › Ready in:1day2hr30min

  1. In a large freezer bag, mix together the soy sauce, olive oil, cinnamon stick, star anise pods and five-spice powder. Add the duck legs and refrigerate for 1 day.
  2. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3.
  3. Place the chillies, plums, pears and sugar into casserole dish. Pour over the duck marinade and place duck legs on top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until meat is falling off the bone. Adjust the seasoning of the sauce, if necessary.
  5. Serve with rice.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

Very tasty - some very strong flavours - I think I may have overdone the star anise!-19 Apr 2013

Family roast duck

a duck
Supermarket dumpling wrappers
Green onion, cucumber, sweet bean sauce
The soy sauce
Cinnamon, bay leaf, star anise
Five spices powder (or thirteen spices)

Duck Legs With Chinese Five Spice



  • 2 duck leg quarters
  • 2 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • Flaky sea salt for serving



  • Duck legs are safe to eat when an internal temperature of 165 F has been reached.
  • If there's leftover duck fat in the pan (you know, if you don't sop it up with a piece of bread), store in a sealed container in a refrigerator, then use as you would oil to cook savory dishes.


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Hi! I'm Ari, photographer and recipe developer behind Well Seasoned. As a former NYC chef, I'm spilling all my tips and tricks from the restaurant industry with you! To learn more about me, click here.

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How to make roasted duck leg with winter melon


Ingredients: 2 duck legs, 400 g winter melon.Accessories: salt, 50 grams of hot pot base, 5 grams of ginger, 1 star anise, 1 gram of peppercorns, 3 grams of soy sauce, and a good amount of beer


Wash duck legs and cut into pieces, peel and cut winter melon, and slice ginger

Wash duck legs and cut into pieces, peel and cut winter melon, and slice ginger


Add water to the Zhenmi lifting electric hot pot, add the steaming net to the electric hot pot, turn on the electric hot pot, and start the “hot pot” program. The program has multiple functions such as high fire, slow fire, low fire, and high fire. You can select the desired heat. This Zhenmi lifting electric hot pot heats up very quickly, the soup can be boiled in 8 minutes, which saves time and can be used with strong fire

Add water to the Zhenmi lifting electric hot pot,


After it boils, add the duck pieces to the steaming net,


Use the clip that comes with the steaming net to lift the steaming net. You can rinse the duck pieces with cold water to remove the blood foam, because this blood foam is more fishy, then pour out the duck water

Use the clip that comes with the steaming net to lift the steaming net.


Lift the electric hot pot and add cold water again, then add the steamed net and duck pieces, add ginger and appropriate amount of beer, add hot pot base, star anise and peppercorns

Lift the electric hot pot and add cold water again,


With the lid, the lifting plate and the body of this electric hot pot are separated, so it is more convenient to remove and wash. In addition, not only can it be used for hot pot, the pot also has the function of top steaming and bottom cooking.

With the lid, the lifting plate and the body of this electric hot pot


Turn on the electric hot pot and start the “hot pot” function. After the electric hot pot is turned on, the electric hot pot will automatically boil on high heat. Open the lid and turn to a low heat to simmer for about 1 hour.

Turn on the electric hot pot and start the


Usually the duck meat is cooked at this time, you can add winter melon and salt

Usually the duck meat is cooked at this time, you can add winter melon and salt


Stew the winter melon over a low heat again until the winter melon is ripe. Finally, use a high heat to collect the juice slightly, so that the flavor is more fragrant, and then adjust the heat to “slow fire” press the “up” button to raise the steaming net, and when the vegetables are added It’s very convenient, what you want to eat

Stew the winter melon over a low heat again


Duck meat that is not fishy and not greasy is good. Duck and winter melon are cool when they are cooked. Adding the base of the ignition pot to neutralize the coolness, winter melon also absorbs the fragrance of duck broth, making it even more delicious. This lifting electric hot pot is too convenient. When you eat, it is a little bit cold. Then you can lower it with one button and continue to cook at the bottom of the pot and eat.

Crispy Roasted Duck Legs with Hoisin-Orange Glaze

The one consistent thing my husband wants for his birthday, year after year, is Chinese food. Forget the gifts, don’t bother with cake. Just give him Chinese food and he’s happy.

So this is on the menu this week, for his birthday, which just happens to coincide with Chinese new year.


2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and dry the duck legs and rub them with a light film of olive oil. Place them in a roasting pan, flat side up. Roast for 15 minutes. While the duck is roasting, combine the orange juice, hoisin sauce, honey, orange peel. ginger and garlic in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat briefly, stirring just until the honey has become blended in the liquid.. Set aside. When the 15 minutes are done, turn the legs round side up. Pour the orange juice mixture over the meat, cover the pan and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the cover. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Baste and bake for another 15 minutes or until the ducks are cooked through and the skin is crispy.

Cantonese Roasted Duck Recipe

Cantonese roast duck—the glistening red birds you see hanging in Chinatown shop windows—is known for its shiny, crackly-crisp skin and succulent meat. The duck is traditionally hung to air-dry before cooking, for extra crispy skin, and roasted with a liquid marinade sealed inside the cavity, for extra juicy and flavorful meat. It’s a must-eat dish during any family gathering.

Making the dish at home is a multi-step process that you’ll have to start a day or two in advance. But when you break down the steps, it’s actually quite simple, and the results are well worth the time.

Several steps are geared toward ensuring your duck roasts up with the crispiest of skin.

First, the duck is “inflated” with an air compressor inserted under the skin, to separate it from the meat. This way, excess fat can safely drip off while the duck roasts, without softening the skin. This is a common practice for preparing Peking duck, Cantonese roast duck’s northern cousin, but many high-end Cantonese roast duck places use the method as well.

The duck is then blanched in two rounds: first with just water, to firm up the skin, and then with water mixed with Chinese rose cooking wine, red vinegar, and maltose or honey, to add color and flavor.

Finally, the duck rests in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to air-dry, for another layer of protection against soggy skin. Traditionally, it would simply be hung up in a cool, dry place.

After that, most of your hard work is done. All that’s left to do is roast the duck in the oven, first at a higher temperature, for, you guessed it, extra crispy skin, and then at a slightly lower one to finish. Serve with a side of plum sauce, and you have an impressive centerpiece for a Cantonese-style feast.

Cantonese Roasted Duck Recipe

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Rest Time: At least 24 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour, and 10 minutes
Serves 4

  • Tweezers
  • 8-inch stainless steel turkey lacer (or, you can use a bamboo skewer)
  • Air compressor
  • Stainless steel S-shaped hook, or butcher’s twine
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Roasting pan and rack
  • 1 3 1/2-pound whole duck, neck attached
  • 16 cups water, divided
  • 2 cups ice, for ice bath
  • Plum sauce, for serving
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 pieces fermented red bean curd
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 scallions, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, lightly smashed

For the blanching liquid:

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rose cooking wine (mei kuei lu chiew), or substitute rice wine
  • 1/2 cup diluted red vinegar (da hong zhe cu), or substitute rice vinegar (though you will lose some of the red color)
  • 1/2 cup maltose, or substitute honey


The day before, prepare the duck:

Wash duck with warm water and pat dry with paper towels. Remove excess fat from the inside of the cavity and discard. (If you can, choose a leaner duck, which will roast up crispier.) Use tweezers to pluck out any pinfeathers if you have a cooking torch, you can also use it to singe them off. Chop off the feet, if attached, with a knife.

To make the dry rub, in a small bowl, combine salt, white pepper, five-spice powder, and sugar and mix well. Rub the mixture all over the duck and inside the cavity. Transfer to the fridge and let sit for 2 hours.

To make the marinade, in a bowl, combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, fermented red bean curd, five-spice powder, and sugar and mix well, breaking up the bean curd. Add scallions, ginger, and garlic.

Remove duck from the fridge. Pour the marinade inside the cavity and rub it all over. Use an 8-inch stainless steel turkey lacer or bamboo skewer to truss the cavity closed.

If you have an air compressor, use it to blow air under the skin of the duck. Place the duck breast side up and insert the tube of the air compressor under the skin, around the neck area. Press paper towels over the cavity and rest of the neck to ensure that no air leaks out. Blow air under the skin for about 1 minute, until the duck inflates like a balloon and the skin is separated from the meat. Flip the duck and repeat.

If you do not have an air compressor, use your hands or the back of a wooden spoon to reach under the skin and loosen it from the meat.

Secure an S-shaped hook on the duck’s neck, or tie butcher’s twine securely under both wings. Ensure that the duck does not fall when you lift it by the hook or the twine.

In a large bowl or pot big enough to fit the duck, prepare an ice bath. In another large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Turn off the heat. Holding the duck by the hook or the twine, suspend it over the pot and use a ladle to spoon the water all over the duck, for about 2 minutes, until the skin turns firm and white. Discard the water. Immediately submerge the duck in the ice bath, to further firm up the skin. Remove and pat dry with paper towels.

To make the blanching liquid, clean the pot of any grease and bring another 8 cups of water to a boil. Add the rose cooking wine, red vinegar, and maltose and mix well. Turn off the heat. Once again, holding the duck by the hook or twine, suspend it over the pot and use a ladle to spoon the liquid all over the duck, for about 2 minutes.

Remove hook from the neck, or snip off the twine, and chop off the neck and head with a knife.

Set a wire cooling rack on a plate and place the duck on the rack, breast side up. Transfer to the fridge to air dry for 24–48 hours. (You can also use a fan or blow dryer to speed up the process.)

The next day, roast the duck:

Line a roasting pan with foil, for easier clean-up, and set a roasting rack on top. Place the duck breast side up on the roasting rack (because the breast side is thicker). Wrap up the wings and legs with foil, to prevent burning. Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.

Transfer duck to the middle rack of the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Then, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to roast for another 20 minutes.

Remove roasting pan from the oven. Flip the duck so that it is breast side down. Return roasting pan to the middle rack of the oven and roast, still at 350 degrees F, for 20 minutes.

Remove roasting pan from the oven. Remove the foil from the wings and legs of the duck. Return roasting pan to the oven and roast for another 20 minutes. (If your duck is larger than what this recipe calls for, add 15 minutes of roasting time for each additional pound. The USDA recommends cooking duck breasts to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed.)

Remove duck from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove aromatics and liquid from the cavity and discard. Chop the duck into small pieces and serve with plum sauce for dipping.

Recipe by CiCi Li. Article by Crystal Shi, the food editor of the Epoch Times.

6 quarts water
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbs soy sauce
¼ cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
¼ cup distilled white vinegar

Combine dry marinade ingredients in a small bowl and rub on outside of duck. Place duck in a pan. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Place a wok or wide frying pan over high heat until hot. Add oil, swirling to coat sides. Add garlic, ginger, and green onions and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 5-10 seconds. Add remaining marinade ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Let cool, then pour into a 1-cup measure.

Pour marinade into cavity of duck (if head and neck are missing, overlap neck skin and sew tightly first). Sew belly opening shut with a large needle and heavy thread (I use dental floss) or close up with thread and trussing pins or skewers.

Combine blanching liquid ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Fashion a sling made of several lengths of string tied together long enough firstly to go around the duck under the wings and then be able to lower and pull out the duck of the pot of boiling blanching liquid. Holding the duck by the sling made of string, lower it into the blanching liquid and blanch duck for 2 minutes. Lift out, drain, and pat dry. Hang the duck by the string in a cool place until the skin is taut and dry, 4 hours to overnight. (Use an electric fan to dry and the result will be even crisper skin, especially if the atmosphere is humid.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place duck breast side up on a rack in a foil-lined roasting pan. Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn duck over (avoid piercing the skin in doing so). Roast for 20 minutes, basting with pan drippings. Turn duck breast side up again and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the skin is richly browned and crispy. Continue to baste occasionally with pan drippings.

Remove duck from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a clean pan. Cut string and let juices from cavity drain into the pan. Transfer duck onto a cutting board and cut into serving-size pieces. Skim fat from cavity juices, pour into a fat separator. Reheat de-fatted juices in small pan and pour over duck just prior to serving or serve on the side in a little bowl.

Recipe: Crispy-skin Chinese Roast Duck 烤鸭

So far this year, I have had great success in the kitchen trying to cook/make something for the first time, including Chinese roast pork (siew yuk) and pineapple nastar rolls. So happy that I can now add crispy-skin Chinese roast duck to the list!

We are always on the hunt for decent roast duck in KL. Our criteria for a good roast duck is crispy skin plus flavorful, juicy meat. Not difficult, right? When we were at the supermarket last week, Hubby saw ducks for sale and said, "Wanna make roast duck for Chinese New Year?". Challenge accepted.

To achieve crispy skin on the duck, it is important that the skin is very dry before roasting. Initially, I was a little apprehensive about sun-drying the duck as I was worried it would attract flies and other insects. Fortunately, no such problem plus with the very hot weather during CNY, it didn't take long for the skin to dry. Both my kids found it a funny sight to see the duck sunbathing in the garden )

In between the sunbathing sessions, the duck also needs to be "bathed" in a mixture of maltose and rice vinegar. Once the skin is dry, simply stuff the cavity with the seasoning and put in the oven to roast. There is no need to leave the meat to marinate - easy! One reason why I've never attempted making roast duck until now, is that I was under the impression that it makes a lot of mess in the oven, however after making it I can now say that roasting duck is pretty mess-free (even less oil splatter than making siew yuk- the oil just drips onto the tray).

It didn't take long for the skin to brown in the oven and soon, we had a beautiful, glistening roast duck at the dinner table. I served it with oiled rice and 3 types of sauce - homemade chilli sauce (recipe here), plum sauce (store-bought) and the duck gravy (which you pour out from the cavity). The roast duck was simply sensational - it ticked all the boxes for a fantastic roast duck - crispy skin, flavorful, moist and juicy.

I was really happy to see my family enjoying this so much. Hubby commented that this is far better than a lot of those being sold outside. I would definitely make this again - though there is a long waiting time (to sun-dry the duck), the actual work that goes into this is pretty minimal. Easy and delicious!

Crispy-skin Chinese roast duck 烤鸭
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Nasilemaklover
Preparation time: 15 minutes (plus 3-4 hours for drying)
Cooking time: 55-60 minutes
Serves 4-5

1 whole duck (2.5kg)
3 cups water
2 tbsp maltose
1 tbsp rice vinegar

3 tbsp fermented soybean paste (taucu)
1/2 tsp Chinese five Spice powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp caster sugar

4 shallots, blend into paste
4 cloves garlic, blend into paste

To serve
Rice (4 pax)
2 tbsp shallot oil (recipe here)
Chicken stock

1 Japanese cucumber, sliced

The sauces
Homemade chilli sauce (recipe here)
Plum sauce (store-bought)
Gravy from duck

1. Wash the duck well and remove any visible hairs. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.

2. In a large wok, combine water, maltose and vinegar and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat. Place the duck into the wok and bath the duck with the mixture several times. (ie use a ladle and scoop the mixture all over the duck).

3. Sun-dry the duck for 2 hours. I placed a bottle in the duck's cavity so that it can stand upright and get even sunning. You can also get a hook to hang the duck (around the neck), whatever works. After 2 hours, bring the mixture in the wok to a boil again. Once boiling, turn off and bath the duck again and then sun-dry for 1-2 hours until a dried skin is formed. (weather-dependent - it is done once the skin is hard to the touch).

4. Combine the seasoning with the blended shallots and garlic in a bowl, and mix well. Spread the seasoning in the duck's cavity only (make sure you spread it around well). Do not rub the mixture over the outer skin.

5. Preheat oven to 190°C (roast mode). Place the duck on a wire rack, with a tray underneath to catch any oil drippings. Cook for 55-60 mins until the skin is brown and crispy. Do remember to turn the duck around half way through for even browning of the skin.

6. Once ready, remove from oven and pour the gravy out from the duck cavity. Try not to get it onto the skin as it will make the skin lose its crispiness. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, then chop into bite-size pieces using a meat cleaver. Serve with white rice, oiled rice or noodles and sliced cucumbers.

7. To make oiled rice, simply cook as you would normal white rice but replace water with chicken stock and add in 2 tbsp of shallot oil. The rice will have a lovely fragrance once ready.

If you enjoyed reading my posts, LIKE me on Facebook! You can also follow me on Instagram (@babysumo) for more photo updates. Thanks :)

*This recipe was featured on Asian Food Channel's FB page on 15 February 2014.

Valentine Warner's crispy roast duck leg with cooling cucumber recipe

A classic recipe for crispy duck, served with a refreshing cucumber side.

Please note that table salt must not be used in place of the flaked sea salt when preparing the cucumbers as the amount will be far too strong.


  • 2 medium duck legs, preferably Freedom Food, approx 200g
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 1 medium cucumber peeled, halved lengthways, deseeded and chopped to 5ml thickness
  • 0.5 tsp coriander seeds, or whole one if not using caraway
  • 0.5 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 dash oil
  • 0.5 small white onion
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 medium duck legs, preferably Freedom Food, approx 200g
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 1 medium cucumber peeled, halved lengthways, deseeded and chopped to 5ml thickness
  • 0.5 tsp coriander seeds, or whole one if not using caraway
  • 0.5 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 dash oil
  • 0.5 small white onion
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 medium duck legs, preferably Freedom Food, approx 200g
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 1 medium cucumber peeled, halved lengthways, deseeded and chopped to 5ml thickness
  • 0.5 tsp coriander seeds, or whole one if not using caraway
  • 0.5 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 dash oil
  • 0.5 small white onion
  • 0.5 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp salt


  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Recipe Type: Main
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 45 mins
  • Cooking Time: 90 mins
  • Serves: 2


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / fan oven 160°C / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Cut through all skin and tendons around ankle of duck leg.
  3. Rub a little sunflower oil into the duck legs and season with the dried thyme and a little of the salt. Put them on a small baking tray or frying pan with a heat resistant handle and put them in the oven for 1 hour and twenty minutes or until very tender.
  4. Put the cucumber in a colander and mix through with the salt. Leave to drain over the sink for half an hour. When ready, wring out the cucumber with your hand to extract as much excess water as possible.
  5. In the meantime tip the seeds into a small saucepan and jostle them around until a faintly toasted smell comes to the nose. Now add a dash of oil and sweat the onions over a medium heat for 5 minutes or so. Stir in the turmeric and cook for a further minute before adding the vinegar. Boil rapidly until the onions appear moist rather than wet. Take off the heat and add the remaining ingredients.
  6. When cool, add the cucumbers and stir through the vinaigrette thoroughly. Leave to sit for ten minutes or so.
  7. Remove the duck from the oven.
  8. Spread a decent pile of the cucumber over the plate and place the crispy duck leg on top.
  9. Good eaten with new potatoes tossed with butter, some salt and pepper and maybe a little chopped dill.

Valentine Warner is backing the RSPCA&rsquos Freedom Food &lsquoLike a duck to water campaign&rsquo raising awareness of duck welfare &ndash more information at

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 bunch chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 4 duck legs
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 ½ cups red wine
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red currant jelly

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spread the rosemary sprigs and garlic cloves into a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Place the duck legs on top of the rosemary, and sprinkle with salt and five-spice powder. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Meanwhile, bring the wine to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the currant jelly until dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes set aside.

After the duck has cooked 1 hour, pour off and discard the fat that has accumulated in the baking dish. Pour the wine sauce over the duck legs, and bake 15 minutes more until the duck is very tender and the sauce has thickened slightly.

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