Chinese roast duck

Chinese roast duck

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(2 ratings)


Magazine subscription – 3 issues for £3

Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 30 mins Plus marinating

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 4 with leftovers

John Torode's whole crispy duck with oriental marinade makes for an impressive and alternative Christmas centrepiece

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



  • 2 ducks
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 6 star anise seeds
  • large piece ginger, sliced
  • small bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp malt syrup or maltose (available in most Chinese supermarkets)
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Buy Ingredients

Buy the ingredients for this recipe now via:

Want to know how this works? Read all about it here.


  1. The day before, soak 4 wooden skewers in water for 20 mins. Wash the ducks inside and out with cold water, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Mix together the sugar, star anise, ginger, spring onions and a few good pinches of salt, then use this to fill the cavities. Close the cavities with wooden skewers and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the maltose and 2 tbsp of the vinegar. Add the remaining vinegar to a jug of boiling water and pour over the ducks. (The boiling water opens up the pores, while the vinegar helps to strip some of the waxiness from the skin, so it will be more receptive to the maltose, which adds sweetness and a lacquered caramel colour.) Smear the maltose mixture over the ducks, then place them in a large plastic container and put in the fridge overnight, uncovered.
  3. To cook, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. (Fan ovens are particularly effective for roasting duck.) Put a little water in the bottom of a large roasting tin, place the ducks on a rack over the top and cover with foil. Roast for about 45 mins. Take off the foil and roast for another 45 mins – the duck must be well done, there is no such thing as a rare Chinese roast duck! Take the duck out of the oven and let it rest for a good 20 mins before carving.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2011

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.


Show comments
lizleicester's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I too, didn't follow the instructions exactly (only marinaded for 4 hours), and used golden syrup instead of maltose, but the result was fantastic. Served them with the delicious plum sauce (on this site).

amyh2k2's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

I made this for a dinner for four and it was scrumptious. I hadn't roasted a duck before and I found this recipe easy to follow. I changed a few things because I didn't have the right ingredients (I used rice wine vinegar, maple syrup and Chinese 5 spice instead of red wine vinegar, maltose syrup and star anise) and used just one large duck instead of two smaller ones, which extended the cooking time, but the results were still excellent.