Happy Chinese New Year – Roast Chinese Duck
Happy Chinese New Year – Roast Chinese Duck

Happy Chinese New Year – Roast Chinese Duck

Happy Chinese New Year!

We are now in the year of the Dragon according to the Chinese calendar. This is the most powerful of the Chinese signs, and symbolises strength and good fortune. Chinese New Year is a time of celebration and feasting. Our family is very fortunate to be hosting a Chinese student by the name of Jing Yuan Chun.  Chun has prepared a special celebration dish for us which her family usually eat on special occasions.

Chinese New year, year of the Dragon

Chun says that she has never prepared this dish before but she has seen it being made. Like most Chinese families they will usually eat this meal in a restaurant, as Chinese households do not usually have an oven.

For dinner tonight we have our family, my mum and Jiang chao (kaka), Chun’s boyfriend all joining us for dinner so we have be prepared two ducks for the meal. Chun has been demonstrating the technique on the first duck; I have been diligently taking notes and preparing the second duck as per her instructions.

Chinese New year, year of the Dragon-2


1 Duck

1 T/s salt

1 tsp Szechuan pepper (sweet)

3 star anise

½ t/s ground cinnamon

¾ ts ground ginger

1 green shallot sliced length ways

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup light soy sauce

1/3 cup Chinese rice wine

Basting Sauce:

¼ cup white vinegar

½ cup honey

Serving Suggestions:

5 potatoes sliced


Kechup Manis

Soft Burrito


Chinese Duck for New Year Year

Dry the duck with a paper towel. Rub salt all over the duck.

Chinese Duck for New Year Year-2

In a mortar a pestle, pound the star anise and szechuan pepper roughly, set aside.

Chinese Duck for New Year Year-3

Mix the soy sauce and rice wine in a bowl and add all the spices include the star anise mixture. Add the sliced shallot.

Chinese Duck for New Year Year-4

Place the duck in a bowl and pour the marinade over.

Chinese New year, year of the Dragon-3

Ensure all the duck is covered with the marinade.  Cover the duck with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, turn the duck periodically.

Chinese Duck for New Year Year-5

Next day prior to cooking, remove the duck from the marinade. Dispose of the marinade and allow the duck to air dry.

Chinese New year, year of the Dragon-4

To make the basting liquid combine the honey and vinegar and allow to stand.

Chinese New year, year of the Dragon-5

Once the duck is completely dry baste the bird in the sauce.

Chinese Duck for Chinese Year

Ensure that all areas are completely covered in the sauce. Continue to sit the duck on the bench so that the basting liquid will dry.

Chinese Duck for Chinese Year-2

Once the basting liquid has dried on the duck wrap the drumstick and wings in foil to prevent burning.

Chinese Duck for Chinese New Year

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.

Slice the potato into ¾ cm thick rounds and place in a layer on a covered baking tray. Add the duck to the potato layer.

Chinese New year, year of the Dragon-6

Cook the duck for 1 hour. Half way through the cooking time remove the duck from the oven and repeat the basting process.  The duck must again be completely dry prior to entering the oven.

Chinese New year, year of the Dragon-7

Once the second 30 minutes cooking period has elapsed remove the duck and baste again using the same drying process. Increase the oven temperature to 220 degrees and cook for a further 15minutes to crisp the skin.

Chinese New year, year of the Dragon-8

I can’t tell you how amazing the kitchen smelled whilst the duck was cooking. The aroma was of a rich star anise and sweet honey sauce.

The duck was served with sliced crunchy cucumber from my garden a sweet soy sauce and potato which had been roasted with the duck.  These fillings combined with the duck in a warmed flat bread as a delicious rich sweet parcel.

Chinese New year, year of the Dragon-9

The duck itself had a sweet and salty crisp skin with the delicious after taste on Star Anise and Ginger.  The duck flesh was very moist, sweet and succulent. Chun explained that because duck is a sweet meat the accompaniments should always be sweet to compliment the flavour.

It was such an amazing meal, I am so grateful to Chun for sharing this feast with us and giving us the opportunity to learn more about the food she enjoys in China and how she celebrate the important days in  her culture.

I was surprised to learn that because Chun and her boyfriend were both born in the year of the Dragon that the coming year was supposed to be fraught with danger and obstacles which would need to be overcome. Chuns father is very concerned that she is out of the country for this inauspicious year. KaKa explained that the repeated year can be very difficult.

Australia Day

I am looking forward to sharing our Australia day with Chun and Kaka. Although China having a history which span over 5000 years old, kind of makes Australia look like an infant by comparison 🙂

So tell me readers do you join in celebrations from other cultures such as Bastille Day for the French, thanksgiving for the Americans or perhaps St Patrick’s Day?

Gourmet Getaways

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  1. Thank you Chun for a beautiful meal it was wonderful to celebrate with you. Happy New Year to you and your family. Oma.

  2. Happy Chinese New Year! I hope Chun enjoys the celebrations. What a great duck recipe. I will have to try this. I did try to do a duck recipe last week but couldn’t buy duck anywhere. Was told there’s a shortage or a supply problem or issue or something and that there won’t be any ducks available for another four weeks. But I will keep looking. I’ll let you know Julie when I’ve cooked this recipe.

  3. The duck looks delicious and I love that you host overseas students. They must come away from Australia thinking that it is paradise! 😀 Happy Chinese New Year!

  4. I don’t really celebrate festivals from other cultures, but as I’m from China myself, I do celebrate Chinese New Year. It was a big one too with 3 big dinners in a row and more to come!
    The duck looks amazing, my dad knows how to make it but I’ve always been to scared to try at home. It looks doable though, maybe I’ll add it to the menu for our next New Year!

    Happy Chinese New Year! 🙂

  5. Wow.. Julie! I am seriously blown away by this! I seriously love your household. You’re so hospitable for taking Chun in but more than that, I love how you and your family totally embrace her culture and food, and reciprocate that wonderful exchange in return. AWESOME STUFF! This duck looks absolutely perfect. What a yummylicious day it must’ve been for you guys haha. I rmb calling Mum 2 yrs ago to give me instructions over the phone for preparing a duck dish I’ve loved but never attempted growing up too haha. Looking forward to read about what you guys get up to for Australia day, WEE~! Happy Chinese New Year to you guys too! =)

  6. We are really lucky to have hosted a lot of international students, some for over a year. Our family comes away from each experience very enriched as we learn so much a long the way.

    So many of my recipes I have been taught by our guests.

    LOL and usually the cooking process means phone calls home to mum or grandma to get the recipe right!

  7. I think celebrating your own cultural festivals/holidays as well as others’ helps to increase cultrual understanding – after all, food is always the centre of celebrations and families!

    For me, growing up Chinese in Australia, it’s things like Chinese New Year traditions which my mother has drummed into me which have helped me understand and appreciate parts of my cultural heritage from which I otherwise feel removed, at least geographically.

  8. That looks like a wonderfully crispy, flavorful duck! 🙂
    I celebrate the Vietnamese way because I have Vietnamese coworkers that are kind enough to share with me 🙂

  9. The duck looks absolutely delicious. Something I really don’t attempt, I will always just pick one up when doing pancakes. Lazy me 😉 I do make the pancakes though 🙂

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