Pipa duck pan­cakes 1 Pipa duck pan­cakes An­drew Wong

The Observer Food Monthly - - Contents - An­drew Wong Adapted from A Wong – The Cook­book (Oc­to­pus Pub­lish­ing, £22.84). An­drew Wong’s new restau­rant is Kym’s, Lon­don EC4

You need to start this a day ahead. Serves 6 whole duck 2-3kg hoisin sauce 5 tbsp For the mal­tose liq­uid wa­ter 1.5 litres Shaox­ing rice wine 2 tbsp Chi­nese red vine­gar 2 tbsp mal­tose 3 tbsp To serve Chi­nese pan­cakes 12, steamed spring onions 1 bunch, finely sliced cu­cum­ber 1, finely sliced plum sauce  Direc­tions On day one, spatch­cock the duck. Cut the back­bone of the duck out, open up the bird and place breast side up and, with the heel of your hand, ap­ply pres­sure to the breast­bone to crack, so the bird lies flat.

Bring a large pan of wa­ter to a rolling boil. With the duck held over the pan, use a large la­dle or a small saucepan to pour the boil­ing wa­ter all over the skin of the duck, let­ting the wa­ter fall back into the pan.

Con­tinue pour­ing the wa­ter over the duck until ev­ery inch of skin has had a good dous­ing – you will see the skin tighten up and change colour slightly.

Rub the hoisin sauce in­side the duck and leave the bird on a wire rack for 30 min­utes.

For the mal­tose liq­uid, bring all the in­gre­di­ents to the boil in a large pan. Pour the boil­ing syrup re­peat­edly over the skin of the duck, as you did with the boil­ing wa­ter pre­vi­ously, until ev­ery part of the skin has been cov­ered.

Leave the duck to rest on the wire rack overnight in a cool, dry place, plac­ing an elec­tric fan in front of the bird to ac­cel­er­ate the process if you wish. It is also OK to leave it in the fridge.

On day two, check the duck to see if it is ready for roast­ing – the skin should be com­pletely dry to the touch. If so, pre­heat the oven to 120C/gas mark ½. Still on the wire rack, place in the mid­dle of the oven for 30 min­utes.

Af­ter 30 min­utes, turn up the oven to 200C/gas mark 6, and roast for a fur­ther 15 min­utes with the oven door very slightly ajar to al­low any con­den­sa­tion to es­cape. The dry­ing and salt­ing process be­fore­hand means you need no more cook­ing than that.

Serve im­me­di­ately and carve at the ta­ble, thinly sliced or hacked, de­pend­ing on your knife skills. Enjoy with steamed pan­cakes (steam ac­cord­ing to packet in­struc­tions) and other ac­com­pa­ni­ments.

Pho­to­graphs Mar­tin Poole

Food styling Kim Mor­phew Prop styling Pene Parker

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