Roast Duck Recipe: Chinese Inspired & Simplified

This Chinese inspired roast duck is unlike traditional Chinese roast duck because it is tender, juicy, and flavorful but without the crispy skin. Read all of the instructions before you start making this recipe.
Author Sharon Wong @Nut Free Wok


  • 1 duck approximately 5 to 6 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons 5 spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 small mandarin peels washed and chopped (reserve tangerine for other uses)
  • 1 inch section of ginger about thumb sized, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oil I use olive oil.


  1. If frozen, defrost the duck in a large container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days, write down the weight of the duck.
  2. THE DAY BEFORE (or at least 6-8 hours before) you want to roast the duck, prepare the duck by taking out the gizzards, other parts, pouches of sauce, any plastic ties that might be inside the duck.
  3. Rinse the duck inside and out and remove anything you don't want to eat (sometimes there might be a yellow film on the skin, you can rub the duck skin with salt to give it a "facial" and rinse).
  4. Drain the duck in a colander and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. Combine hoisin sauce, honey, salt, 5 spice powder, and pepper in a small bowl.
  6. Place the duck in a 13x9 baking dish or other similar sized oven proof container and spoon half the marinade into the duck cavity and rub it around, stuff the duck cavity with scallions, tangerine peels, ginger, and garlic and use a skewer to "sew" the cavity shut.
  7. Rub the outside of the duck with half the marinade and then 1 tablespoon oil.
  8. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, turn the duck over at least once.
  9. APPROXIMATELY 3.5 HOURS before you want to eat, take the duck out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes and preheat your oven to 400°F (note that there will be a temperature change later).
  10. While you are waiting, calculate your total cooking time, halfway point, and end time per instructions on the blog or in the notes below.
  11. If you want quick clean up, transfer the duck to a clean and foil lined 13x9 baking dish (optional).
  12. Crumple two large pieces of aluminum foil so you create two foil logs approximately 1.5 inches thick and 9 inches long and place them under your duck (breast side down) so that your duck is not resting on the baking dish.
  13. Spray 4 pieces of foil (approximately 5x5 inches) with non-stick cooking spray and wrap each drumstick and each wing with foil.
  14. Place your baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet if you have one (optional).
  15. Add 1 cup hot water in the baking dish, place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet place the roast duck in the oven and change the oven temperature to 375°F.
  16. At the halfway point, take the duck out of the oven and use a few paper towels in both hands to grab the duck by the foil covered drumsticks and flip the duck over and continue roasting your duck.
  17. When your duck has roasted approximately 2 hours (give or take a few minutes depending on the size), take the duck out of the oven, and allow it to rest a few minutes.
  18. When it's not too hot to handle, transfer the duck to a serving platter, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  19. You can either carve the duck like a turkey (easier if the duck is still too hot after 30 minutes of resting) or transfer it to a cutting board and chop it up into 2 inch pieces (see recipe for "bak cheet gay" for detailed instructions).

Recipe Notes

1) Roast your duck at 375°F for 22 minutes per pound. Write down the weight of your duck before you throw away your wrapper because you'll need it to calculate the length of time it takes to roast your duck by multiplying the number of pound by 22.
2) Then divide the total number of minutes by two to calculate the halfway point and when you will flip your duck over. Round to the nearest 5 minutes but be sure that the times add up to the total roasting time.
3) For example, if my duck is 5.7 pounds, then the total amount of time it takes to roast the duck is 125 minutes. I can flip the duck after 1 hour and then continue roasting for an additional 1 hour and 5 minutes.