Peking Duck pancakes in Manhattan Chinatown
So my husband and I love going out to Flushing for Chinese...especially SPICY & TASTY. While we're out there, we always start with a mini-Peking Duck pancake for $1 on Main Street before settling in at Spicy & Tasty. We really love the thick, spongy pancakes, but can't find them elsewhere. I have two questions that I'd love help with.
1) Why aren't there any places in Manhattan Chinatown that do the $1 duck pancakes for people who don't want a big sit-down Peking Duck feast??? Are they out there and I'm just passing them by?
2) Has anyone found nice thick and spongy pancakes for Peking Duck in Manhattan Chinatown?
The stand you are speaking of uses a different kind of wrapping than traditional Peking duck. They are he ye bao, aka water lily pad buns. Usage of them to wrap Peking Duck is more commonly found on the West Coast. I would call them more of a bun than a pancake.
I don't know of anywhere in Manhattan Chinatown that sells the Peking Duck as a single serving on the street, much less in a thick, fluffy steamed bun rather than a thin pancake wrapper.
You can find similar sandwiches/steamed bun dishes around town but it's not 100% the same as Peking duck in a water lily pad bun. These include the pork buns at Momofuku Noodle Bar/Ssam Bar/Milk Bar, pork buns at Hakata Ippudo, various bun sandwiches at Mantao Sandwiches, whole wheat buns at Shang (which I do not recommend), and "gua bao" at Temple Snacks in Flushing:
If you are looking for the quick hit of the $1 Duck Bun you find in Flushing, but in Manhattan, you will be sorely disappointed.
As to where to buy steamed buns in water lily pad form... the more common kind of bun you find in the freezer section of Asian super markets are thicker mantou-style buns. I think MMRuth did find them at the Hong Kong supermarket in Chinatown a while ago. They're usually in the freezer section so you can steam them at home. You can also try your hand at making them from scratch at home.
Where to find steamed buns?:
Yes - I did - the one that had the fire - I'm guessing they haven't reopened yet but I think they have other stores. I haven't tried steaming them yet, so I don't know how they taste.
Making them was easier than I had expected:
There are also a couple of other Chinatown sources in one of the first posts in that thread.
Hoy Wong (81 Mott) serves beautiful puffy steamed buns with their peking duck, but you'll have to order the whole duck.
There's a place on Eldridge St. and Broome St. called The Dumpling House. I can't remember if the pancakes are a $1 though... a bank breaking $2, I seem to remember. They are killer though!!
One of the supermarkets north of Canal Street used to sell these at the prepared food in the front of the store (using the western entrance) counter for $1. This was the supermarket that runs from east to west through the block to not the one on the corner. (They both begin with "D" and I always confuse the names.) I have not had the duck in a couple of years so have no idea if they still sell it.
Sounds like Deluxe Food Market, with entrances on Mott and Elizabeth. Never had the duck - thanks for the tip. The other "D" place may have been Dynasty at Hester and Elizabeth, now a branch of Hong Kong Supermarket.
Deluxe Food Market
79 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013
Hong Kong Supermarket
157 Hester St, New York, NY 10013