recipe comes from Mai Leung and was featured in one
of Martin James' Newsletters.
duck originated in a few small villages near Kwangchow,
but the village that prepared it best was Guh Jeng,
meaning Old Well, the home of my grandmother.
was there that my grandmother was engaged to my grandfather
when she was eight years old and was married to him
when she was barely sixteen, never seeing him until
the wedding day.
was born in the late Ching Dynasty, survived two revolutions
and two world wars but never learned to read or write.
A tiny, uncomplicated woman with a kind and generous
heart, she received everything that life brought her,
good or bad. To all her grandchildren, she was a blanket
of protection, embracing all our little woes and pains
while we were growing up.
her eighty-three years, she never saw America or tasted
a hot dog, but through her beloved Tarzan movies and
my husband, she loved this faraway country.
comes and life goes, and quietly she went. She left
me beautiful memories - and this delicious duck.
fresh 5-pound duckling: remove fat in cavity, rinse
duck and pat dry
14 cups water
4 tbsp honey
4 slices fresh ginger, each as big and thick as a
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup dry Sherry
(Mix in a bowl)
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp five-fragrance powder
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced, soaked dried tangerine peel (optional)
2 tbsp rice wine or dry Sherry
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp ground bean sauce
1 tbsp thin soy sauce
about 2 tsp sugar to taste
duck according to directions for scalding. Hang it
in an airy, cool place to dry for at least 8 hours.
duck then, sew up the cavity with skewer.
a big roasting pan, containing an inch of water, on
the bottom of a gas oven or on the lowest rack of
an electric oven to catch the drippings and prevent
them from burning.
duck directly on oven rack with breast side up. (If
a gas oven, put duck on middle rack. If electric,
put duck on upper rack.) Roast for 1 1/2 hours. Remove
duck and put on a chopping board.
skewer and thread. Scoop out stuffing (mostly sauce)
and put in a small saucepan. Measure 1/2 cup of the
drippings (avoiding the grease) and mix with the stuffing.
Add soy sauce and sugar to correct taste. Heat sauce
over low heat until it comes to a boil. Cover and
simmer over very low heat.
and slice duck. Put on a platter. Pour sauce over
duck. Serve hot.