Braised duck with plum sauce

Chinese: 酸梅鴨 (sheen moi up)

Other than Peking Duck this is probably my second favourite duck recipe. Quite an easy and non messy recipe. It is really yummy, highly recommended. This recipe works better with duck on the bone instead of boned duck breast.


1 duck crown with bone or 1 whole duck or 4 pieces of duck legs
1 heap tbsp of salt
1 tbsp of dark soy
1 heap tsp of five spice powder

2 - 3 tbsp of cooking oil
2 - 3 cloves of garlic (sliced)
1 chunk of ginger about walnut size (sliced thin)
3 star anise
1 chilli, sliced
1 small piece (about 2" long) cassia bark or cinnamon stick
2 pieces of chinese dried mandarin peel 陳皮(about 2 x 50p size), rinsed
3 heap tbsp of plum sauce (from a jar either Lee Kum Kee or Amoy)
1 to 1-1/2 tbsp of light soy sauce (to your taste)
2 - 3 tbsp of chinese cooking wine
3/4 - 1 cup of water

  1. Rub salt on duck and leave for 1 - 2 hours. Then rinse off salt.
  2. Rub soy sauce and five spice all over duck, leave for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Roast the duck on a rack at 210deg C for about 20 - 30 minutes* (depending if duck pieces or whole duck is being used). Turn once during roasting. Take the duck out when golden brown, not ready to eat yet it's not cooked.
  4. In a wok or saute pan, heat the cooking oil and all the spices. Stir fry about 1 - 2 minutes till fragrant.
  5. Add cooking wine, light soy sauce, plum sauce and water. Heat the liquid till boiling.
  6. Add duck to sauce, cover and simmer gently for about 35 -40 minutes for duck pieces, and about 1 hr to 1 hr15 min for duck crown or whole duck. Turn the duck once or twice during braising. Take the duck out to cool when done.
  7. Reduce the sauce to about 1 cup or thick enough to your liking. I don't find cornflour is necessary to thicken but if you want to you can use a little cornflour.
  8. Remove the bits of spices if you want. I never bother.
  9. Cut the duck into pieces. Pour the sauce over.
*Traditional method is to deep fry the duck till the skin is golden brown. My oven method is less messy and no deep frying for anyone who hates it.
** Line the roasting tin with foil and add in about 1 cup of water. Any fat from the duck will not spit all over the oven making a mess. Also the foil lining saves scrubbing the pan. Easy peasy


  1. Hi
    I was browsing through the Internet for duck crown recipes and yours came up.
    What a great dish, just to let you know that with your permission I am taking this excellent recipe with me.
    Just one question, if you don`t mind, on step 6 when you say "add the duck, cover and simmer ...", do you mean adding it to the plum sauce to braise?
    Many thanks x

  2. Hi Ana,

    Yes you add the semi roasted duck to the sauce and braise till tender. I have amended the text to clarify this.

    Hope you like the dish.

  3. Hi
    Many thanks for your clarification.
    I will be cooking this recipe very soon as I really loved it.
    Kept your contact to visit you again x

  4. Hi
    Thanks again for this great recipe.
    It was a big success with the family and its now posted on Magic Flavours.
    Have a lovely weekend x

  5. Hi Ana,
    Nice to hear your feedback. Your duck looks a bit darker than mine, it does look tasty to me.

    I love your flower dish!

  6. Substituting deep-frying with roasting is a great idea, more healthier! The duck skin looks crispy and with a nice glaze. Glad to stumble upon your blog through Google search.

  7. Hi Sunflower, I like to supplement your duck braising stage.... liberal amount of water should be added to at least covering about half the duck meat. Otherwise, the meat will not be firm, moist & tender, for the cooking time you stated.
    BTW, I am inspired by your roasting method. I am one of those who hated the messy oily process of deep frying.

  8. Hi,
    What would you serve this with??
    N :)

  9. Hi there

    You can serve it with anything you like. Normal is plain rice.

    For normal Chinese meal, we normally have at least 3 - 5 dishes with rice for every main meal like dinner. This duck can be one of the dish, with others like stir fried vegetables and soup/broth to form a balanced meal.

  10. Hi, just wanted to say this recipe is extremely tasty, my whole family loved it, good tip about the water on the foil as I hate the mess duck fat makes when it starts spitting. I was raised in Brunei but now live in England so nice to get a good recipe off you ;)

  11. Hi
    Nice to know someone from Brunei. Are you Malay or Chinese? Glad to hear a good feed back.

  12. Hi Sunflower,
    I prepared your duck today for the CNY and my daughter birthday. Very nice, everybody liked it a lot!
    Thanks. I always hope you will start blogging again.



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