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Peking duck vs Cantonese duck

Chinese

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35 replies to this topic

#31 Fat Guy

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Posted 21 August 2002 - 10:45 PM

Though he is Swiss, Kunz was raised in Singapore, and there's little room for doubt that his palate was heavily influenced by this early exposure to Asian cuisine.

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#32 Kerouac1964

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 12:35 AM

I wonder before the air-pump days, how people pumped air below the skin to make Peking Duck? Do some people in China still make the Peking duck the old fashioned way(no air pump used)?

Perhaps they adapted the design of the forge bellows they used from Iron work into hand models?

-------- Found on Google ----------------
Iron smelting in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) made further progress, as indicated by the appearance of various kinds of furnaces, the use of refractory materials and bellows which were made of leather and powered by human strength. Bellows drastically increased the temperature of the furnace, and further promoted metallurgy.

http://www.china.org.cn/e-gudai/4.htm
-------------------------------------------------

#33 macrosan

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 03:13 AM

Cantonese duck is roasted, glazed duck.  This is the duck you see hanging in the windows of Chinese restaurants in Chinatown.

I'm not convinced that Cantonese duck is glazed, and I thought Peking Duck was.

A common menu item in the UK is "Cantonese Aromatic Crispy Duck". This has a matt surface to the skin. The duck is shredded off the carcass and served in make-it-yourself pancake rolls with hoisin sauce, spring onion and cucumber strips.

Other common items are Cantonese Roast Duck with Plum Sauce, and Braised Cantonese Duck. Both of these have similar skin to the crispy duck.

I would assume therefore that the term "Cantonese duck" has little definitive meaning as a menu item.

#34 jaybee

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 04:32 AM

The best version of this dish i ever tasted, by far, was at the Quanjude Restaurant in Beijing. It's namesake is where the dish was supposedly popularized 100 years ago. Here's everything you wanted to know about Peking Duck

Note they say nothing about blowing air in the skin. The oven seems to be one of the main factors in good results.

#35 Toby

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 05:53 AM

This would have been a good discussion on the Chinese v. French cuisine thread. The linked article above traces Peking duck back to the mid-19th century and follows its development back to the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368), with cites of contemporary cookbook recipes.

In Chinese Gastronomy, the Lins say: "Peking duck is one of the justifiaably famous stars of the cuisine. Because the flavor is very simple and fragrant, even children and other people with undeveloped palates like it. Its appearance is simple, and its presentation always follows the same order: first the skin, then the meat, then the soup from the bones. The skin is crisp and fragrant, but not oily (yu-er-bu-ni). The meat is tender and juicy, the soup rich and sweet with cabbage. The making of it has become a small branch of Chinese gastronomy in itself. ... The skin is the most important part of the duck. In order for it to be crisp but not fat, it must be dry. Air must be introduced between the skin and the flesh. In China, fowl are often eviscerated through a small opening under one of the wings.... Air is pumped into this small opening, so the duck balloons out. This permits faster drying of the skin.... The duck is hung up to dry for at least 24 hours in a cold, stiff breeze. The purpose of this is to permit drying of the skin, which then pulls away from the meat. This dish is a result of the cool and crisp Peking weather, which allowed the duck to be hung in this way when raw."

In the linked article it says, "The preparation of the dish requires a series of complicated steps, which include inflating the unbroken skin so that it roasts just right."

I think "glazed" may not have been the right term for the Cantonese roast duck we get in the West, which is sort of sticky and dark. (I borrowed "glazed" from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's recipe in The Chinese Kitchen.) In the traditional method, the duck is scalded, air may or may not be forced between the skin and meat, and the duck is hung to air-dry; following all these steps, the skin probably would be glazed, as in Peking Duck. The distinguishing feature of Cantonese roast duck is that the marinade is "stuffed" inside the body cavity, which is then sewn closed. The marinade seasons the meat deeply during cooking and allows the duck juices to collect and enrich the liquid seasonings into a very flavorful sauce. After roasting the sauce is poured out and served over the carved duck.

Cut-up roast Cantonese duck is also used (after roasting) as the main ingredient in a lot of braised dishes. At a wedding banquet I once ate roasted, then braised duck with various pieces of seafood, pork, chicken, dried black mushrooms and greens in a dark sauce.

There are many wonderful duck dishes in China, such as Szchuan Crisp Spiced Duck, in which the duck is flattened by breaking the major bones and then the flesh is separated from the bones (although the bones aren't removed). The duck is rubbed with salt and Szchuan peppercorns and marinated overnight with soy sauce, sugar, wine and scallions. It's cooked in a sealed vessel placed in a pot of boiling water for 2 hours, drained, and then fried very slowly in oil, allowing the duck fat to be fried out and the bones to become brittle. At the end, the skin is dull, not shiny. It's served with ribbon rolls and Szchuan pepper and salt mix.

Other duck specialties include Duck Steamed in Wine, Shanghai Duck (red cooked and then glazed), flavor-potted duck (deep-fried and then red-cooked), Crisp 8-Treasure Duck (a boned duck stuffed with 8 ingredients, including sticky rice, duck-liver sausage, dried mushrooms, ham, and gingko nuts, is first steamed and then deep-fried), Pressed Duck, Steamed Duck with Preserved Fruits, and Tea Smoked Duck (Shanghai, duck is smoked in Dragon Well Tea).

#36 Fat Guy

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Posted 22 August 2002 - 05:54 AM


I wonder before the air-pump days, how people pumped air below the skin to make Peking Duck? Do some people in China still make the Peking duck the old fashioned way(no air pump used)?


Perhaps they adapted the design of the forge bellows they used from Iron work into hand models?

Or maybe they just blew.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)






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