Mock Peking Duck
Serves: 8
  • Skin (except breast skin) of 2 ducks
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1½ teaspoons dark sesame oil
Hoisin-Sesame Sauce
  • ⅓ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 large scallions, halved crosswise and cut into 16 thin
  • ½ small seedless cucumber, cut into 16 strips
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
For the skin:
  1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring 1 gallon of water to boil in a large pot. Add duck skin and cook, turning frequently, until water just returns to a simmer. Transfer skin, flesh side down and as flat as possible, to a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt and brush with the sugar water. Roast until crisp and brown, 45 to 55 minutes.
  2. Remove skin from pan and reserve fat. (Can be wrapped in foil and refrigerated up to 5 days. Fat can be covered and refrigerated for months.
For the pancakes:
  1. Process flour and water in a food processor until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer dough to a work surface, kneading and then rolling it into a 6- by 2-inch log; cut into 16 discs. Brush 8 of the discs with a little sesame oil; top each with one of the remaining rounds, pressing each into a 3- to 4-inch “sandwich.” Brush work surface with a little of the sesame oil and roll each pancake into a 7-inch disk.
  2. Meanwhile heat a medium skillet over strong medium heat. Working one dough round at a time, cook them, turning only once, until spotty brown on both sides, 1½ to 2 minutes total. As pancakes come out of the skillet, transfer them to a work surface, pulling them apart as quickly as soon as you are able to form 2 pancakes. Fold each pancake, crusty side in, into quarters. Arrange the pancakes, slightly overlapping, on a plate. Cover with plastic until ready to serve. (Can be stored in a gallon-size zipper-lock bag and refrigerated for a couple of days)
For the sauce:
  1. Mix hoisin, sesame oil and water in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. When ready to serve, cut duck skin into thin strips (and if it’s been refrigerated, heat in a 300 degree oven until crisp, about 15 minutes). Place plate of pancakes on a steamer basket set over a pan of boiling water. Cover and steam until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. On each plate, arrange 2 of the folded pancakes, a portion of the duck skin, cucumbers, scallions, cilantro and little dish of the sauce (or pass the sauce separately). Serve immediately.
Inspiration for this recipe came from Jacque Pepin’s Cooking with Claudine (KQED Books and Tapes 1996)
Recipe by Three Many Cooks at