Peking Duck- One of Chinese Food’s Great Treasures

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( — March 11, 2013) Scottsdale, AZ — The secret behind Peking Duck (or Beijing Duck as it is now commonly named because of the shift from Cantonese to the Mandarin Chinese language), is the extensive preparation that goes behind the making of this very special Chinese cuisine delicacy.  It was not that long ago when Peking Duck required advanced reservations for at least 2-3 days before one could order this in a Chinese restaurant.  Now, the dish is ubiquitously found in almost every sit down Chinese restaurant.  (“Sit down” distinction from “take-out” refers to the fact that there are Chinese take-out restaurants everywhere that focus only on take-out.) 


The preparation of a Peking Duck requires a whole duck with head, neck, and tail intact.  The duck is generally cut at the neck to drain its blood out and hung upside down after the innards are all removed.  Then, the duck is washed down with water and “brined” with sea salt and rinsed again. 


Now, the duck is pumped up like a “football” with air  that the duck’s skin is stretched when it is exposed to a high heat.  This process is probably the most important aspect since it is this stretching that enables the skin and the duck’s meat to separate and allow the texture of the skin to get crispy.  Exposed to a high flame, the duck’s skin begins to separate from the meat allowing the high amount of fat to drip through and remove itself from the meat.  A duck is extremely fatty in that it aids the flotation on water and maintains warmth while travelling in cooler climates. 

The essence of Peking Duck is the skin.  It is all about the skin.  When prepared properly, the skin is stretched and paper thin so that it rests like a wafer on a crepe or dough “bow” which is more like a bun.  Coupled with hoisin sauce or a plum sauce and scallion sprigs and cucumber sticks, this Peking Duck sandwich transforms into the meal of a lifetime. 


After a Peking Duck emerges from the oven, the slicing of the duck at tableside is as important as its cooking.  Sliced thinly and neatly, each piece resembles a two inch by one inch wafer.  The meat is left alone on the carcass to be cut separately for an additional Chinese dish that can be stir fried in a wok with vegetables. 


For more information about preparing and eating Chinese food like Peking Duck, contact and visit the Jade Palace Restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ at their two locations!   


23623 North Scottsdale Road

Scottsdale, AZ 85255

(480) 585-6630


9160 East Shea Boulevard

Scottsdale, AZ 85260

(480) 391-0607

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