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Braised Duck with Bean Paste {Chinese Jiang Ya}

by Shirley

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Braised Duck with Bean Paste

Braised Duck with Bean Paste, or Jiang Ya 酱鸭 in Chinese featuring sweet bean paste {Tian Mian Jiang 甜面酱}, an ancient traditional condiment in China, is absolutely delicious and full of flavor. It is a popular well-liked dish in China’s Yangtze River Delta area, home to Huai Yang Cuisine. With this recipe, you can cook a super delicious and juicy Braised Duck effortlessly in a wok in one and half hours.

What do I need to make Braised Duck with Bean Paste Chinese Style?

Simple traditional ingredients go a long way here. See the Recipe for the list of detailed ingredients. I’d like to highlight a few items here:

Bean Paste Braised Duck Ingredients
Bean Paste Braised Duck Ingredients

Other than an all-natural quality duck, preferably young duck, you will need sweet bean paste, red yeast rice, naturally aged soy sauce, light soy sauce, Zhenjiang vinegar, Shaoxing wine.

Naturally aged soy sauce is an ancient traditional soy sauce, known as “Jiang You” {酱油} in Chinese. Light vs. dark soy sauce is modern time Cantonese inventions. I usually use a combination of naturally aged soy sauce and light soy sauce for a good balance of color and flavor.

Shaoxing Wine is another ancient while essential Chinese cooking seasoning item. A must-have for meat and poultry cooking. There are many varieties/brands in the markets, this Shaoxing Wine is the one I use.

You will also need species such as Star anise, bay leaves, black cardamom, and cinnamon. They are all popular spices in Chinese style cooking meat & poultry. These four spices work so well together to deliver that fragrant deliciousness.

Zhenjiang Vinegar Zhenjiang vinegar is my go-to vinegar for Chinese cooking. There are also many varieties/brands on the market, but I have always been using this Zhenjiang vinegar.

What is Sweet Fermented Bean Paste {Tian Mian Jiang}?

Fermented sweet bean paste is an ancient and classic Chinese condiment. They are like super concentrated soy sauce with a hint of sweetness. They appear in many traditional Chinese delicious food cooking such as braised beef shank or Steamed Pork Buns.

Sweet Fermented Bean Paste {Tian Mian Jiang 甜面酱}
Sweet Fermented Bean Paste {Tian Mian Jiang 甜面酱}

What is Red Yeast Rice {Hong Qu Mi 红曲米}?

Known as “Hong Qu Mi {红曲米} in Chinese, Red Yeast Rice is another ancient Chinese ingredient, serving as an all-natural red color. They are made of white rice. After a special fermentation process, white rice transformed into a red color.

I used to use the whole red yeast rice in cooking meat such as Red Braised Pork Belly or Red Braised Lion’s Head. Lately, I started using a spice grinder to grind into powder and absolutely love it. With the powder, I can use less red yeast rice for brighter red coloring.

Red Yeast Rice and Red Yeast Rice Powder
Red Yeast Rice and Red Yeast Rice Powder

What Kitchen equipment or utensils do I need to cook Braised Duck?

You will need a quality wok with a lid to cook the duck. A pair of quality scissor tongs to help turn & flip the duck inside the wok.

bean paste braised duck

How to cook a delicious Braised Duck perfectly & effortlessly?

Tip No.1 is to brown the duck first for Braised Duck with Bean Paste

Brown the duck first for Braised Duck
Brown the duck first for Braised Duck

Turn the heat to medium and heat the wok for 1 minute. Spray about half tablespoonful of cooking oil, then add the duck facing down, along with ginger slices and chopped green onions. Gently press down and cook for 2 minutes. Then flip the duck and do the same thing.

Tip No.2 is to slow cook the duck for 1 hour 30 minutes

Cooking Bean Paste Braised Duck

Remove the seared duck from the wok. Pour 2 cups of boiling water into the wok and add the braising condiments and spices. Mix well and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat to simmer and carefully slide the duck into the wok, breast side down and slow cook for 1 hour.

Following 1 hour slow cooking with the duck’s breast side facing down , carefully flip the duck and cook for another 30 minutes.

Braising duck in the wok
Braising duck in the wok

Braised Duck Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does it take to cook a braised duck in the Wok?

Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to cook the duck and then allow about 10 minutes for it to cool down slightly before breaking down the duck and serving.

Do I need to blanch the duck first?

Not required for this recipe. As long as you get a quality fresh duck, a good wash & rinse will do. It is important to sear the duck first before braising for a juicier and better looking Braised Duck.

Bean Paste Braised Duck {Jiang Ya 酱鸭}
Bean Paste Braised Duck {Jiang Ya 酱鸭}

Tips:

Save the juice left in the wok. They make a great dipping sauce for the duck. You can also take advantage of its scrumptious flavor and whip out a Chinese stir fry noodles in no time.

Chinese Style Stir Fried Noodle using Braised Duck Juice
Chinese Style Stir Fried Noodle using Braised Duck Juice
Braised Duck with Bean Paste

Braised Duck with Bean Paste {Chinese Style Jiang Ya 酱鸭}

Yield: one duck
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Braised Duck with Sweet Bean Paste is a popular and well-liked dish in China. Unbelievably delicious, perfect to pair with rice, serve as a noodle soup topping, or enjoy as an appetizer or main course.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole duck, about 5 lbs
  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 stalks of green onions
  • 12 slices of ginger, about 12 grams
  • 1 stem of cilantro, for garnishing

For Braising Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup naturally aged soy sauce, see notes
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Shaoxing wine
  • 1/4 cup Chinese fermented sweet bean paste (Tian Mian Jiang)
  • 1.5 tbsp Zhenjiang vinegar
  • 1 tbsp red yeast rice powder, home freshly ground
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar in the raw
  • 2 cups of boiling water

Instructions

Preparation:

  1. If the duck is frozen, leave it in the refrigerator for a couple of days for a thorough thaw.
  2. Trim extra skins and un desired parts such as the tail, rinse and clean the duck well inside-out and set aside to drain and air dry. Also wash and rinse the neck, gizzard, heart and liver if the duck comes with them.
  3. Slice the ginger into thin slices and cut it into julienne. Wash and cut the green onion into small pieces
  4. Add everything under "For Braising Sauce" except for the water into a small bowl and mix well.
    Bean Paste Braised Duck Ingredients

Sear/Brown the Duck:

  1. Turn the heat to medium and heat the wok for 1 minute.
  2. Spray about 2 tsp avocado oil using a homemade oil sprayer, add ginger and green onions into the wok, sitr fry for about 10 seconds.
  3. Add the duck into the wok, breast side facing down, gently press down and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Carefully flip the duck, now breast side facing up, gently press down and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Gently but firmly hold one of the duck's leg using a pair of kitchen tongs, and sear the side of the duck for 1 minute. Repeat for the other side of duck.
    Brown the duck first for Braised Duck
  6. Turn off the heat and remove the duck from the wok and set aside.
    Seared {Browned} duck for making braised duck

Braising the Duck:

  1. Turn the heat to medium-high and add 2 cups of boiling water into the wok.
  2. Add braising condiments and spices from the bowl into the wok, mix well with a whisk and bring it to a boil, about 3 minutes.
    Braising Juice for Braised Duck
  3. Turn the heat to simmer. Gently slide the duck into the wok, duck breast facing down. Cover the wok with a lid and cook for 1 hour.
    Cooking Bean Paste Braised Duck
  4. Baste the duck with the juice in the wok. Carefully flip the duck, now breast side facing up, cover the lid and cook for another 30 minutes.
    Braising duck in the wok
  5. Turn off the heat, baste the duck with the juice in the wok, cover the lid and let the duck rest for about 10 minutes to slighly cool down.

Serving the Duck:

  1. Use a chopping cleaver to break down the duck.
    Bean Paste Braised Duck {Jiang Ya 酱鸭}
  2. Start with wings and legs. Separate wings and legs from the body first and then chop along the joints.
  3. Separate two breasts from the body and then chop into strip bite size across.
  4. The rest are bony part. Chop into manageable sizes.
  5. Enjoy a super yummy duck.

Notes

  • Naturally aged soy sauce is traditional soy sauce, known as "Jiang You" {酱油} in Chinese. Dark vs. Light are modern time Cantonese invention. You can typically use dark soy sauce to substitute.
  • If your duck package contain neck, gizzard, etc., wash and rinse them well and add to the wok for braising too.
  • Save the juice left in the wok. They serve great dipping source. With this alone, you can whip out a Chinese stir fry noodle in no time.
  • Please don't be alarmed by the sodium level in the nutrition fact. The calculator assumed everything listed in the ingredients are consumed. In fact, most of the soy sauce and sweet bean paste are left behind in the concentrated juice. The duck itself is actaully not salty at all.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1059Total Fat: 82gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 48gCholesterol: 238mgSodium: 1172mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 57g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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