Put down that Chinese takeaway menu and have a go at making these mouth-watering, crispy duck pancakes courtesy of Ken Hom tonight!



1 x 2.75 kg (6lb) duck fresh or frozen

6 slices of fresh root ginger

6 spring onions cut in to 7.5 (3 in) length

cornflour, plain flour or potato flour for dusting

1.2 litres (2 pints) groundnut oil


For the spice rub:

2 tablespoons five-spice powder

765 g (2 ½ oz) Sichuan peppercorns

25 g (1 oz) whole black peppercorns

3 tablespoons cumin seeds

200 g (7 oz) rock salt


To serve:

Chinese pancakes

6 spring onions, finely shredded

Hoisin sauce


Serves: 4-6

Prep time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 2hrs 30 mins



1. If the duck is frozen, thaw it thoroughly, rinse well and blot it completely dry with kitchen paper.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the spice rub together in a small bowl, then rub the duck inside and out with this mixture, applying it evenly.

3. Wrap well in cling film and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

4. After this time, brush any excess spices from the duck. Stuff the ginger and spring onions into the cavity and put the duck on a heatproof plate.

5. Set up a steamer or put a rack into a wok. Fill it with 5 cm (2 in) of water and bring to the boil. Lower the duck and plate into the steamer and cover tightly.

6. Steam gently for 2 hours, pouring off excess fat from time to time. Add more water as necessary.

7. Remove the duck from the steamer and pour off all the liquid. Discard the ginger and spring onions. Leave the duck in a cool place for 2 hours or until it has dried and cooled. At this point the duck can be refrigerated.

8. Just before you are ready to serve it, cut the duck into quarters and dust with cornflour, or plain four or potato flour, shaking off the excess.

9. Heat the oil in a wok or deep fat fryer. When it is almost smoking, deep-fry the duck quarters in two batches. Fry the breasts for about 8-10 minutes and the thighs and legs for about 12-15 minutes until each quarter is crisp and heated completely through.

10. Drain the duck on kitchen paper and leave until cool enough to handle. Then remove the meat from the bones and shred it. You can do this easily with a fork. The Chinese eat it with bones and all.

11. Serve with the Chinese pancakes, spring onions and hoisin sauce.


Ken Hom’s range of chilled ready meals are available from Tesco. This year Ken celebrates 30 years as the nation’s favourite TV chef, to download a copy of his 30th career anniversary booklet, please visit www.kenhom.co.uk.