Roast Duck

Roast Duck – Easy!

It was Christmas but I didn’t want to cook a turkey – it’s too big for just the two of us. So, I decided to roast a duck instead. I always thought it must be difficult to roast a duck without the requisite huge roasting oven that the Chinese restaurants use. But I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to roast a duck in the normal oven that we all have at home.

Roast duck is one of our favourite food. When in London, we have roast duck at least once a week.  I am delighted to be able to make roast duck at home. I must say I am quite pleased with my Roast Duck – the skin was quite crispy and had the right colour and the meat was flavoursome and juicy. I just need to experiment with adding other spices (perhaps cinnamon, aniseed, clove, ginger root, nutmeg, turmeric, cardamom pods, licorice, orange peel or galangal). Watch this space!

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  • 1 duck
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp salt


1. Fill a saucepan with sufficient water to cover the whole duck.

2. Add honey and lemon and bring water to a simmer.

3. Dip the duck in the water and bathe the duck by scooping the water over the duck until the skin looks puffed up (takes 5-10 mins).

4. Remove the duck to a deep plate and set aside to cool.

5. Mix the five spice powder with the salt. Scoop the spice mixture into the belly of the duck. Use a brush to fully coat the inside of the duck with the spice mixture.

6. Wipe the duck skin with paper towel. Stand the duck on a rack to drain and for the skin to dry out.

7. Place the duck onto a rack in a roasting pan, with the breast facing up.

8. Roast the duck in the oven at 180°C (40 mins for each kg of duck). The skin of the duck should be golden brown. If not, turn the temperature to 200°C and roast for another 5 mins.

9. Insert a food thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The duck is cooked if the temperature reaches at least 75°C. Pour the sauce accumulated in the roasting pan into a bowl. Drain off the oil before serving with the duck.

10. Cut up the Roast Duck and serve with the duck sauce, plum sauce and/or ‘Grandma’ chilli oil.

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