Cantonese roast duck

Nothing like roast duck to make it feel like the dim cart rolled into your house.

Morgan Ong
Morgan Ong  


Foolproof, if you have a convection oven. Foolproof if you have a regular oven and a vertical roasting rack. In either oven, the heat is slow enough to render all the fat out of the duck without an aura of steam. Both techniques will give you rich-tasting duck with crisped skin.


Place following ingredients in a blender:

1 tablespoon brown bean sauce (or miso)

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder

2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry

1 whole green onion

Half-bunch cilantro


Blend until very smooth. You’ll have about 1 cup.


1 4-pound duck (may use frozen duckling, defrosted)

2 green onions, sliced


Discard fat from tail end of duck. Remove all giblets and liver; save or discard – it’s up to you.

Rinse the duck in warm water. Pat dry with paper towels. Holding duck over a big bowl, pour  ¾ of the marinade inside the duck’s cavity through the tail. Set duck inside the bowl. Pour remaining marinade over the duck and rub it in. Let sit at least 1 hour, or up to 2 hours, at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator.


       For convection oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place duck breast-side-down on a V-shaped rack, and set all on the foil-line sheet. Set in oven 30 minutes. Remove; turn duck breast-side-up. Return to convection and roast 45 minutes more.


       For regular oven: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lower duck onto a vertical roasting rack (Spanex, for example). Set on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour, 15 minutes, with duck standing on end at all times.


      Cool; hack the duck with a cleaver through bones into bite-sized pieces. Arrange on a platter; scatter with green onion. Serve at room temperature (a great make-ahead).