Peking duck is usually served in Chinese restaurants in at least 2 courses. The first course is the duck pancakes which uses only the skin and fat (attached to the skin) of the duck. The second course is usually a noodle dish which uses the remaining meatier parts of the duck.
When my husband and I started dating a decade ago, he was introduced to a whole new world of Chinese food (besides sweet and sour pork, honey chicken and spring rolls). This has become his favourite Chinese dish, and I try and buy the ingredients to make it every time after going to the local Chinese shop. We used to also go to Chinese restaurants in the city for it and you need to commit to a whole duck, with at least 2 courses, paying at least $60.
For years I have been buying a roast duck with pre-made pancakes (usually x 10) and then making up a noodle dish with the remaining duck. However the favourite part of the dish is the pancakes, so thought I would make a whole lot of it so that we could just have a main meal consisting of just duck pancakes! My mum makes her own duck pancakes and I always thought it was troublesome, but after making it myself now, it is sooo easy and sooo much cheaper!!
I buy my roast duck from the local Chinese shop which sells duck/roast pork/roast chicken etc. I buy 1 x whole duck and ask for them to chop it up for me, so all I need to do is go home and debone everything. The ones in my area sell them for about $28-30 for a whole duck.
1 x roast duck
I use both the skin and meatier parts of the duck for the pancakes, as my husband loves his meat and it tastes more satisfying than just eating the skin and fat lol!
Recipe adapted from http://www.recipecommunity.com.au/side-dishes-recipes/chinese-pancakes/152151
Makes 30 pancakes
450 grams plain flour
310 grams boiling water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
Sesame oil (for brushing)
Extra plain flour (for rolling)
1. Add flour, boiling water and vegetable oil into bowl and knead – 3 minutes/kneading function.
Add flour, water and oil
2. Leave in mixing bowl to rest for 30 minutes.
Knead and rest for 30 mins
3. After 30 minutes, knead again – 3 minutes/kneading function.
After kneading again
4. Take dough out and place onto a floured benchtop.
Place dough on floured benchtop
5. Roll dough into a ball and cut into 3.
Cut into 3 pieces
6. Roll each section into a cylindrical shape.
Roll out into a cylindrical shape
7. Cut each cylinder into 8 – 10 pieces (try and keep it an even number, I cut mine into a total of 28 pieces).
8. Roll 2 pieces of dough at a time into balls, and flatten into a disc shape with the palm of your hand.
Roll into balls (2 at a time)
Press into disc shapes with the palm of your hand
9. Brush the top of one disc shaped ball with sesame oil and place the other disc on top of it.
Brush 1 disc with sesame oil
Place the other disc on top
2 x dough discs
10. Roll out into a round(ish) pancake until nice and thin. Set aside with baking paper between each pancake. Repeat with all dough pieces.
Roll out into pancakes
Roll until nice and thin
Set aside with baking paper in between
11. Preheat a medium sized frying pan on high heat, then turn to low to medium heat when ready to fry.
12. Place pancakes on a dry, ungreased frying pan. Cook both sides until you see light brown spots (if you fry it for too long and it becomes dark brown spots, it dries out).
Place on a dry, ungreased pan
Fry until both sides have light brown spots
13. Once off the frying pan, peel the pancake in half (as previously separated with sesame oil in Step 9), and place the fried sides of the pancakes to the bottom of the plate. Repeat for all pancakes.
Serve with roast duck (deboned), hoi sin sauce, spring onions (the white and green parts sliced into approx. 6cm pieces) and cucumber (also sliced into approx. 6cm pieces).
Note: in the restaurants they just put 1 piece of duck, 1 piece of spring onion and 1 piece of cucumber, but at home I love to have an ABUNDANCE and INDULGENCE of everything (…because I can), and these pancakes are larger than the store bought stuff so you can fit a whole lot more fillings in there!
If the pancakes are made hours beforehand, or the day before and kept in the fridge, you can either microwave them prior to serving (a stack of them for about 1 minute) or steam in the Varoma for 10 minutes.
My husband and I had a duck pancake pig-out for dinner last night, with heaps of leftovers for lunch today!
This would comfortably serve 4 people for a main meal, over 6 people for an entrée or up to 15 to 30 people for a canapé (1 to 2 serves each).
These are better, fresher, bigger and soooo much cheaper than store bought pancakes!!