Duck – Hormone- and Antibiotic-Free Meat

Often Overlooked Hormone-Free Source

Chinese roast duck

Roast Duck

Duck appears less often than Chicken and Turkey on North American menus and tends to get overlooked by cooks planning meals.  In fact, Duck is an excellent source of high-quality hormone-free and antibiotic-free animal source protein. Meal planners should consider it more often.  The price per pound, while not cheap, often compares favorably with organic versions of other meats.

How Many Calories in Duck Meat? Figures vary quite a bit. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, domesticated Duck contains  about 325 calories per 100 grams of uncooked Duck, of which 16 grams are protein and about 28 grams are fat.  Naturally, this changes after it is cooked and much of the fat is rendered off.

According to Japanese Government statistics published in the 1960s, Duck Meat provided only about 135 calories per 100 grams, of which 22 grams are protein and 4.5 grams are fat.  The Japanese Government study may have been looking at Wild rather than Domesticated Duck. Duck is probably more familiar in its wild form than domesticated in Japan.

In the 1990s Japanese nutritionist Fumiko Matsumoto, in her comprehensive tabulation of food values. reported that “Duckling” contained 134 calories in 100 grams, of which protein made up 21.9 percent and fat 4.4 percent. She also reported that Wild Duck had 125 calories in 100 grams, of which protein was 23/7 percent and fat made up 2.7 percent. She added that these figures represented resulted after removal of all subcutaneous fat.

We still don’t know precisely how many calories are thought to remain in Roasted Duck, although Irma Rombauer in The Joy of Cooking reported that 1 medium piece of Roasted Duck contained about 300 calories.  She commented that due to its high fat content and heavy bones, it was best to allow 1-1/3 to 1-1/2 pound uncooked weight per serving.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Duck as a principal ingredient has a Sweet and Salty, Slightly Cool, nature.  It is considered to be high in protein, fat, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, vitamins A and E and retinol.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Duck is held to nourish Yin, improve nutritional generally, relieves coughs and serve as an expectorant, dissolving and removing phlegm in the respiratory tract.  Duck is considered to improve circulation generally.

While most popular in Chinese cuisine, Duck appears in a number of other Asian cuisines, including Indian,Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, Lao, Malaysian, Cambodian, and even the cooking of the Silk Road. An interesting Duck version is Teochew Duck, a formula of the Chinese minority and diaspora people originally from the Swatow area.


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