Pressed Duck

Pressed Duck

Pressed duck is a bit of work, but a very fun dish to serve. It is a really nice dish for special occasions. To prepare pressed duck, cooked duck in de-boned, pressed into a pan and steamed. Then the duck is cut into squares and fried. The result is a real treat- crispy on the outside with tender duck meat in the middle.

The process does take two days. The duck is cooked, shredded and steamed on the first day. Then it is refrigerated overnight, before frying. That’s not really a bad thing. All the messy stuff is out of the way the day before. When you want to prep the duck, just slice and fry. I pan fried the duck squares, but you could deep fry it, if you prefer.

I had a couple of friends over for dinner and decided to  make pressed duck. I hadn’t made it in ages. The dish came out quite well, but there is one thing I might change for the next time I make it. I used an 8×8 inch square pan. It was tricky to fit the pan in my stock pot for the steaming. Next time, I would a 9×5-inch loaf pan or two, which would make the steaming easier. My pan ended up a little tilted during the steaming process. Or, I could have used a bigger stock pot.

Except for the steaming issues, it was not a difficult dish to prepare. It was kind of fun.  Another bonus is that I had a pot of duck stock, from cooking the duck. I strained it, cooled it down and removed the fat on top. The next day, I used to stock to cook my rice in. The rice was so flavorful.

So here is the recipe. I kept in the directions using square pans, but feel free to use a loaf pans instead.


Pressed Duck

1 (4-5 lb.) duck

Water to cover

2 green onions

1 ( 1-inch) piece ginger root

2 T. fennel seeds- or two star anise

2 T. dark soy sauce

1 t. hoisen sauce

1 t. salt

2-3 T. cornstarch

Oil for frying

Sweet and sour sauce- recipe follows


The day before you want to serve pressed duck, in soup pot, combine duck with just enough water to cover. Add green onions, fennel seeds, soy sauces and salt. Cover and simmer until duck in very tender, at least a couple of hours. Remove duck and allow to cool down. Remove skin and meat from the bones. Discard the bones. Shred the meat. You can add a little of the skin, if you like. I actually removed most of the skin from the duck before I cooked it. Then I rendered down the skin to have duck fat for cooking. In baking pan, sprinkle half the cornstarch to cover the bottom of the pans. Be generous with the cornstarch. If you use an 8×8-inch pan, you will need a little less cornstarch than if you use a 9×9-inch pan. Press the shredded duck meat firmly into the pan. Sprinkle with the rest of the cornstarch. Set up a pot to steam the duck mixture. I used a large stockpot with a steamer rack in it. Place the pan in the steamer, cover and steam for 30 minutes. Remove duck from steamer, cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day remove the duck from pan and cut into squares. Pat off extra moisture to reduce splattering. Heat oil to 350 degrees and fry duck pieces for about 5 minutes, or until crispy and golden on the outside. Drain and serve with sweet and sour sauce- or a dipping sauce you like.  Serves 4.


Sweet and Sour Sauce


1/2 c. vinegar- I like apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. pineapple juice

3 T. catsup

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. cornstarch

1 t. dried minced garlic

1-t. fresh grated ginger

Hot pepper flakes to taste

In saucepan combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring as mixture gets hot, until sauce begins to bubble. It will also get much clearer. Boil gently 1 minute, stirring constantly before removing from heat. Makes 1 1/2 c. Keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks.


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