Thursday, April 24, 2008


Walking pass a newsstand one day, I spotted this locally published cookbook entitled "Delicacies of ChinaTown". Flipping through the first few pages, to my dismay, the introductory write-ups on those delicacies such as "Sei Ngan Jai Roasted Duck", "Koon Kei Wantan Noodles", "Hon Kee Congee" and etc. were all written in Chinese. I would have placed the book back to the display shelf if I hadn't flip further...whereby to my delight, the recipes are in both English and Chinese!

I just love new cookbook and usually I will spend the next few days studying the recipes and drooling over the pictures...and finally it will ended up sitting nicely on my bookshelf collecting dust! But this time, I was very determined to try some of the recipes as I need to brush up my cooking skills otherwise I would have nothing to serve my guests should I host a party. Everything looks good in the cookbook and since I was so indecisive, I decided to choose the first recipe of the book which turns out to be Herbal Roasted Duck.

This is my first time cooking a duck, hence I have no idea how much it would cost for a fresh duck. But I definitely would not expect it to cost a whopping RM29. Gosh..the roast duck seller just a few stalls away is selling a whole roasted duck for only RM34!!! Anyway, I told myself, it is the end result that is 'priceless'. Anyway, first of all, rinse the duck and drain well. A word of advice though, please choose a duck that doesn't stare at you throughout the whole cooking process.

For the marinade ingredients; 5 pieces of Angelica Roots/Dang Gui, 5 star anises, 1 tsp five spice powder, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 tbsp of Angelica Roots powder/Dang Gui Fen, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar. Personally I felt 1 tsp of salt is not enough so I would suggest to double the portion.

Flatten about 4 pieces of shallots and mix all the ingredients above with 1 tbsp of Shaoxing wine. Put the marinade into the cavity of the duck and give it a good rub.

Using a bamboo skewer, seal the opening properly to ensure the marinade doesn't seep out.

The duck then need a good bath and the ingredients needed for the bath are: 1 tbsp of malt sugar, 200ml Chinese rice vinegar, 500ml water and a few drops of red food colouring. Bring the bath water to a boil and bath the duck for 5 minutes. I hooked the duck at the neck so that it is easier to bath the body. The presence of a male or someone stronger than you while bathing the duck is HIGHLY recommended as the duck becomes heavier as you bath it and not to forget, the heat of the boiling water!! *Almost cried at this point in time when dad came to the rescue, hence it allows me to snap a photo of it*

After a nice warm bath, the duck is ready for a good sunbath. Hang up the duck and basked it under the hot sun for few hours. You must be wondering why my duck is in pink. I used only 2 drops of the red food colouring, hence the lighter shade of red aka pink. I love pink..sweet or not? Now, I received feedback from Boolicious as well as my brother-in-law that the duck should be air-dried either leaving it overnight or under a fan. My bro-in-law was particular in doubt on the freshness of the duck after hours of basking in the Malaysian hot sun.

To tan it further, roast the duck in a preheated oven at 200 degree Celcius for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked. Remove the duck and then hang up and bath it with hot oil over the skin until golden in colour and crispy. I find this process is the most difficult to deal with as the duck was really heavy and the hot oil...well..very very hot! I didn't bath it in the oil for too long since it drained out my energy within the first 20 seconds. For your information, i suffered from sore arm the next day.

Lastly, chop it into pieces and serve immediately. Thanks to my dad who volunteer to chop it for me.

I wasn't too happy with the end result. The recipe which requires only 1tsb of salt for a duck is definitely not enough. Hence, it tasted rather bland. The meat was juicy and soft. The duck skin was acceptable as certain parts were crisy and some were not, well, due to my fault as I gave up bathing it with hot oil too soon. And the day I made the duck, it was cloudy the whole day, so it probably didn't dry very well.

My in-laws and nieces were around for dinner and everyone gave a thumbs up for the duck while I was sulking throughout the dinner. I thought they were just being encouraging but they finished the whole duck! Hmm...I won't give up that easily as I will surely make it again...soon I hope *before the cookbook ended up on the bookshelf*.


Big Boys Oven said...

your duck looks so awesomely good! Usually roast duck seller buys imported frozen duck in bulk and it is much cheaper! usually fresh duck in the market is expensive!

CUMI & CIKI said...

ooo.. i love the vivid colors on this blog! the purple of the shallots agains the herbs.. and the pink duck! very nice :)

Hazza said...

You put in a lot more effort that I did when I roast a duck. However, I think to get the overall even roast, you would need to hang the duck up in the oven, not always possible in a domestic oven. I improvised by putting a metal skewer inside the duck, then rest each end on the top of a pyrex roasting bowl, so all of the surface of the duck was essentially suspended in the air. But your effort looked great and I am sure the marinade would have made it really tasty.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

wahahaha..looks like get ur husband to stand by when u make this nxt time..

hmmm everything seems to be on track to ur 1st full fledge party..when ar?? kekeke

阿单逆思 said...

Woop, absolute delicious. Sure I will try this next time.

Luckly u are not making the beiging duck, or else you have to blow a eye popping duck!!!! Ha ha..


Precious Pea said...

bbo: Thanks for the wonder it is so expensive and I thought I was cheated by the poultry seller.

cumi & ciki: Thank you for the compliment. I love the picture of the pink duck too.

hazza: I think the best is to roast it over charcoal like bbq style? Of course that would requires even more energy and ahem..patience too. Now, let me negotiate with my dad and Hubby if they are kind enuff to volunteer their help during my next attempt! Hehe!

NJoe: Aiyoo..this dish is not presentable least, not to floggers yet. Please wait for my announcement yah.

阿单逆思: Actually the eyes did popped out once i put it into the oven. Once cook, i chopped off the head and threw it away. Otherwise, it will surely haunt me the rest of the night. Hehe.

babe_kl said...

hey thanks for the recipe, hopefully can find duck this weekend at the market :D

JOjo said...

The procedures are so tedious and i admire your perseverence, in pursue of improving your culinary skill.
Well done, look delicious!

Live2Talk said...

So is it worth doin it yourself or just buy the roasted duck? Perhaps next time you can try stew ginger duck, should be easier rite? But good effort my dear ... bravo :)

barbie said...

*slurps* It looks very juicy and tempting as it is. I'm sure ur next effort will be even better. *stomach growling*

Precious Pea said...

babekl: Do try and let me know how yours turn out to be. Worth getting the cookbook and thanks for the butter crab recipe!

jojo: Thanks..perhaps i should start with something simple isn't it? Haha..maybe i should do teochew braised duck next. Definitely much easier.

live2talk: Ermm..not the same i guess. Doing it yourself has got the 'sense of achievement' even though it didn't turn out as good as those outside. For experience sake, quite fun also lor. Stew ginger duck? Ooo..please get recipe from your mum, can?

barbie: Hopefully *keeping my fingers crossed*

Tummythoz said...

Really tabik your effort. Think I'll stick to rasting chicken only.
Look so good and so much work yet you say not presentable yet? Thot you said it was finished up at just 1 dinner?

tigerfish said...

Wah, duck eyes staring at me leh...I think more scaring than fish eyes staring at me :O

You don't have to go HK to eat roast goose since you can make a good roast duck!

And the duck looks like enjoying itself in the garden - applied suntan lotion and sun-tanning!

jason said...

I can't scrape of the feeling that the duck is looking at me, smiling. *guilty guilty*

Just increase the ingredients and you'll get a nice duck next time!

Hubby said...

My wife asked me to put an honest opinion on the roast duck. Well, here it is...

To be honest, the roast duck was not a total failure. Not too bad considering it's a first time.

The meat was not as tasty and certainly, the skin was not crispy enough.

Still, its not that bad that its not edible. Plenty of room for improvement tho.

Overall, I did enjoy the roast duck experience and if you want to do it again next time, I certainly would not hesitate to try again.

So, keep up the good work. Am sure "sei ngan jai" took years to perfect his roast duck recipe, so, whats to worry?

Jackson said...

wow....u r a good cook! I wont do tat coz the process is so complicated!! But i dun mind if u wan to try out recipe, invite me...

Precious Pea said...

Tummythoz: Ahh..roast chicken. Something that I would like to try out too. Aiyoo..really tasteless, how to serve to people?

tigerfish: Hehe..yalor..i kept telling my nieces that they were eating the whole of Donald Duck! Can you see the cheeky grin of the duck?

jason: I think i will do away with the tong gui and just put five spiced powder.

Hubby: are forever so supportive and encouraging! I will certainly improve on it. For that, I allow you to buy me a roast goose dinner at Yung Kee. Deal?

jackson: Aiyoo..nowadays you so busy, you sure you can make it if i invite you dinner ar?

JeromeFo- 杰龙 said...

Zomg! Pity the duck! Lolx
Anyway, you muz try
'Crispy Aromatic Duck ' one day
if you hv the chance.
Alot UK Chinse restaurant are
doing it.

mimi said...

When saw ur cooking steps remind me of my mom used to be cook this quite frequently last time & my whole famiy love it a lot...

daphne said...

What an effort. I must say the pieces look good at the end though. Well done.

ps- i honestly dont think I will hv that kind of stamina like u did!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

wow, this looks delicious n the meat looks moist. i think ur duck must be home-rared judging by the beautiful pale pink color of the skin b4 it was cooked. i doubt if i can find such a good duck here. hey, pls take my motherly advice n forget about going thru such arm n back-breaking steps (i can feel how tiring it must have been, just following ur pics). try my yummy duck recipe! One step only, swear u'll never imagine it can taste SO good!

Crunchasarus Rex said...

Wow..!! you are really good..!! i just had duck too.. !! but i didn't make it myself.. :) but i did enjoyed mine.. but it was a wee bit saltish..!

team bsg said...

5/5 points for effort ,
and 5/5 for resilience.

surely yr no 2 will be 4.8 points overall for complete taste

Sig said...

WOW, awesome! I am never making this, since I don't have the patience, but I love roasted duck and I am totally drooling over this...

Cokeworld Citizen said...

wow fresh duck indeed...yupz use fan to blow it whole day can ady...end product looks succulent leh...

haha people will be wondering why is there a pink duck in the garden XD

thanx for calling that day...sorry for sounding so kayu XD

Rasa Malaysia said...

PP - thanks for organizing the King Crab Dinner. It was great meeting some new faces. :)

Jun said...

ur duck looks nice-- but only after it's been cooked. weird la having the duck staring back at u... but nvm, i suppose the food surgeon can handle it, kan? ;p

boo_licious said...

Great effort girl! It looks delicious. I volunteer to be guinea pig next time to try the roast duck experiments...

christine said...

honestly, among all the pic..i like the sunbathing nice pinky ducky..nyway for a first timer..its good..after all its the effort that count..priceless ma..nyway where u get the book??

Precious Pea said...

jeromefo: Crispy aromatic duck sounds good. How it taste like?

mimi: your mum is an expert in roasting duck?

daphne: not be fool by the final presentation. Yes lor..arm aching the next day. So heavy la that duck!

terri: Aiyoo..puh-lease la..which part of you looks like a mother to me??? Sisterly advice more like it lah!! Ok..which recipe? The braised duck?

crunchasarus rex: Yalor..most of the duck i had outside are saltish and mine lack of salt. Aiii..

team bsg: So touch! Thank you thank you. I will certainly try my best during my 2nd attempt.

sig: Hi there..thanks for dropping my a comment. Hardwork but it was fun too. At least I can now tell people i know how to make roast duck! Haha!

cokeworld citizen: Hehehe...yes pink and sweet looking duck hor? Must be a girl! LOL! Nice talking to you too. Did you enjoy your chicken wings at WAW?

rasa malaysia: No problem at all! Nice to know you too and hope you enjoyed the dinner. :)

Jun: Aiyoo..i tot it looks much more handsome before cooked, no? Ahh...stare or no stare..i still will eat it. Hahahahah!!

boo: Thanks! No problem! I will call you on my 2nd attempt!

Xiu Long Bao said...

Gosh, dat requires lotsa hard work, esp the sun bathing part. Salute!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

the 'The Yummiest Duck' recipe. come to think of it, i only have one duck recipe...quack quack.

ling239 said...

is the coloring necessary ?
wont make the taste any difference right ? XD

Simon Seow said...

I would have just buy from outside. You're so patience.

Ken said...

Wow...I love your website. I hope you don't mind me "stealing" some of your recipes, I tend to cook without measurements and mostly to taste so your recipe formats are perfect for me - exactly what I was googling for.

I look forward to trying every single recipe and have this bookmarked for future reference.

Happy cooking!!


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