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Jan 3, 2010 10:22 PM

Take Home Peking Duck Tips

Hi everyone, I just read through the archives on the topic and didn't quite find the answer to my question. I've seen lots of peking ducks hanging in the window at many small shops in Chinatown and Inner Richmond. I've always wanted to try one, but I'm a bit intimidated by the task of selecting a shop and ordering in a place that doesn't appear to have english on the menu. I'm hoping there's folks out there with some experience that can share:

When I order one, will they typically carve it for me?

Do they usually come with buns, greens, and sauce or do I need to supply that myself?

Are there things I should look for when window shopping?


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  1. Those ducks hanging in the windows are roast ducks and not Peking ducks.
    They don't come with anything except maybe some juice the duck was roasted in to keep it moist. You can order a half or whole duck and they will cut it into bite sized pieces. They usually sell them by the duck and not by the pound, so look for the biggest and plumpest.

    1. as Monku said: they typically will chop up the duck in bite size pieces. Definitely ask for the juices if they don't automatically provide it - the juices are delicious. Seasoned shoppers bring along a baby food jar and ask for more :~ ) This duck preparation is typically eaten over rice or in a bowl of noodles. Buy whatever looks appetizing to you. here is a link to a long discussion about favorite duck stores

      4 Replies
      1. re: gordon wing

        Thanks for the link, and the info. I'm going to have to finally try one of these places.

        1. re: ocumaster

          If you're ever in the East Bay(Oakland), I heard Restaurant Peony has been running these daily specials. I think Thursday is the Peking Duck special $12 (normally $24). Heard some people order it during lunch/dim sum hrs and just pack it up to go. They also have crab, lobster and soy sauce chicken specials, not sure what the rest of the week is,

          Restaurant Peony
          388 9th St Ste 288, Oakland, CA 94607

        2. re: gordon wing

          Note: The chopped-up "bite-sized" pieces will include the bone so beware of possible bone shards.

          In fact, I prefer to cut up my duck at home so I can slice the breast and thigh meats myself and strip the carcass of all the tasty bits. The carcass, head, neck, bones, and flavorings in the cavity then are the start of a duck stock for noodles and jook.

          1. re: Stephanie Wong

            Yeah, I don't like the way they hack up ducks into random pieces with bones sticking out everywhere. Much nicer to carve at home.

        3. While not a true Peking Duck, You can treat it as one taking it home whole uncut. If you like the skin more crispy, roast it on high heat in your oven for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool and slice off the skin....then slice of the duck meat from the carcass. Steam some boa or flour tortillas and you have a resemblance of Peking Duck. Some other things you may need are:

          Scallion Brushes
          Hoisin Sauce
          Julienne Cucumber
          Julienne Scallions
          Cilantro (Chinese Parsley to some)

          .....or any other accompaniments you desire.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fourunder

            I would carve off the skin and crisp it separately. If you stick the whole duck in the oven, you run the risk of drying it out and getting livery meat.

            There is a bit of a tradeoff with ducks--crispy skin or juicy just done meat. Where you want to be on the spectrum is a matter of personal preference.

            If you're in the mood for gluttony, throw in a pound of roast pork!

          2. There are two kinds of roast duck hanging in the better places...traditional roast duck filled with juice, and the duck that is stretched flat like a banjo...not as juicy. If you buy the whole duck, many places will put it in a paper carton to save the juice. It can, however, be VERY fat.

            1 Reply
            1. re: OldTimer

              I save the duck fat to season veggies, noodles or potatoes or to fry eggs. . . yum. At one time my freezer stored rendered duck fat, chicken fat, beef drippings, goose fat, and foie gras drippings. . .

            2. Have you tried asking any of your local restaurants that serve Peking Duck if they'll let you order it to go?

              My hubby and I regularly order "takeout" Peking duck from a local dim-sum place (Mayflower in Union City). They carve up the duck and give you all the buns/greens/sauce. It's a lot for two people but usually that's all we eat if we get it (and collapse in a happy food coma after).

              Maybe some of the restaurants near you will do the same...can't hurt to ask!