Teochew Duck

Galangal is Key
Notes of Cantonese plus Influences from Fukien

Galangal, an important Southeast Asian spice


Duck is one of the meats raised without antibiotics or growth hormones, so it is a good choice for cooks who want to live natural.

The name Teochew in dialect, or Chiu Chow or Chaozhou in Mandarin refers to a people originally from around Swatow who have migrated to Southeast Asia, especially Hongkong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

There is a diaspora of Chaozhou people in a number of countries, with pockets in Europe, North America and Australia, among other places. Among Chinese they are known for their beautiful women and exotic cuisine.

Some notable Chaozhou dishes include a Salad of Salted, Pickled Vegetables; a clay pot of Braised Pork with Fish Bladder; Soy-Braised Goose; Fresh Prawns Stir-Fried with Ginger and Green Onions; Steamed Crab with Vinegar Sauce; Omelets with Oysters dusted with Sweet Potato Flour.

Chaozhou cuisine is based on Cantonese, with elements of Fukienese cooking added.

This  Duck recipe Chaozhou style is fragrant and tender.  Note that while similar, Ginger cannot be substituted for the Galangal called for in the recipe.  The other ingredients can all be found in the average Chinese market.  You need to go to a place that supplies a wider Southeast Asian clientele to find the Galangal.

Teochew Duck



1 Duck, 4 – 5¼ pounds dressed weight
1 teaspoon Five Spice powder
2 teaspoons Salt
100 grams fresh Galangal root, cleaned and sliced finely
Vegetable Oil for frying
2 tablespoons Cane Sugar, preferably brown

The Mixture:
2 tablespoons Dark Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Star Anise
1 stick Cinnamon

The Garnish:
Coriander Leaves or Green Onion curls as garnish


Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

First rub the cleaned Duck all over with Five Spice Powder and Salt.

Stuff the cavity with the Galangal slices.  But set aside 3 or 4 as a garnish.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinate a couple hours or ideally overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, put enough Vegetable Oil for deep frying in a wok big enough for this purpose.  Wipe the Duck with kitchen towels.  Heat the wok and when the Oil is hot enough for frying (best to use a thermometer for this), carefully slide the Duck into the wok.

Fry the Duck in this hot Oil for about five minutes, until it is light brown.  Turn it several times to make sure the Duck is evenly browned all over.  Take out the Duck and drain well.

Next pour off all the Oil except about 2 tablespoons.  Put in the Sugar and the reserved slices of Galangal and cook over moderate fire until the Sugar caramelizes.  As soon as it does, turn off the fire, and put in the Mixture.

Next put the Duck in a roasting tray breast side up ad gently pour the sauce you have made in the wok over the Duck, being careful to see that it sticks to the bird. Next roast in a low oven for 1 to 1½ hours until the thighs are tender when you move them.  (A meat thermometer can be helpful here too.) The Duck should be well-roasted and quite tender.

Remove the Duck and drain off any excess fat and oil.  Reduce the sauce to about 2 to 3 cups.  When serving, cut the Duck into serving pieces.  Pour some of the sauce over and serve the rest on the side.  Garnish with Coriander leaves or tiny curls of Green Onions.


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  1. Pingback: Chinese cuisine | Pacific Rim Gourmet

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