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Braised Duck with Spices {Chinese Style Lu Ya}

by Shirley

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Braised Duck With Spices {Chinese Style Lu Ya 卤鸭}

Braised Duck with Spices Chinese Style Lu Ya {卤鸭} is a well-liked classic food in China. It features whole duck browned first and then braised with spices in low heat for one and a half hours. So juicy, delicious and easy to make. Perfect to pair with a rice bowl, fried rice, Chow Mein, or noodle soup. With this recipe, you can cook a super yummy Braised Duck effortlessly.

Braised Duck With Spices {Chinese Style Lu Ya 卤鸭}

What is Chinese Lu Style Cooking {卤菜}?

Lu Cai {Lu style cooked dishes} features food braised with spices infused juice. It is a well-liked food in China. Soy sauce and Shaoxing wine are often used as part of the braising juice.

People braise all kinds of food using this method. Duck, pork, beef, tofu, and boiled eggs are among the most popular choices.

How to make Chinese style Braised Duck with Spices {Lu Ya 卤鸭}?

First thing first is to pick the spices, herbs and condiments for the braising juice

Ingredients for Braised Duck {Chinese Style Lu Ya 卤鸭}

Shaoxing wine, naturally aged soy sauce and light soy sauce make the braising juice base.

For herbs, you will need green onion or red onion, and ginger.

For spices, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, dried orange peel and cinnamon, all are in powder form, work wonderfully together to flavor the duck. By the way, a spice grinder is a very handy tool to grind spice into powder at home. I usually dry the mandarin orange peel and then grind into powder.

Last but not least, star anise and bay leaves, two widely used spices are no strangers for cooking meat and duck.

Sugar plays two roles here, one is to caramelize the duck during initial browning step. To that, I use organic cane sugar. Turbinado sugar, also known as “sugar in the raw” is to flavor the duck during the braising process.

Burn sugar in the wok
Burnt Sugar in the wok to caramelize the duck

Tip No.2 is to sear and caramelize the duck properly before cooking Braised Duck

Sear the duck first using a tiny bit of oil along with ginger and red onions (or green onions) first.

Sear duck in the wok

Then further caramelize the duck using burnt sugar.

Caramelized duck using burnt sugar in the wok

Last but not least is to slow cook the duck in the braising juice for one and a half hours

Slowly pour the braising juice base all over the duck.

Pour braising juice over duck in the wok

Then simmer for 1.5 hours. One hour with duck’s breast facing down and 30 minutes with duck’s breast facing up.

Braising duck with spices in the wok
Cooking Braised Duck with Spices Chinese Style in the Wok
Cooking Braised Duck with Spices Chinese Style in the Wok

Like duck? Remember to check out below easy and delicious duck recipes.

Braised Duck With Spices {Chinese Style Lu Ya 卤鸭}

Braised Duck with Spices {Chinese Style Lu Ya 卤鸭}

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Braised Duck with Spices Chinese Style Lu Ya {卤鸭} is a well-liked food in China. It features whole duck browned first and then braised with spices in low heat for one and a half hours. So juicy, delicious and easy to make. 

Ingredients

  • 1 whole duck, about 5 lbs
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 medium red onion, or a stalk of green onion, chopped
  • 12 slices of ginger, about 12 grams
  • 1 stem of cilantro or parsley, for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp. cane sugar. organic preferred

For Braising Juice:

  • 1/4 cup naturally aged soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp dried mandarin orange peel, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 3 star anises
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 cups 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 undesired 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 red onion or green onion into small pieces
  4. Add everything under "For Braising Sauce" except for the water into a small bowl and mix well
    Ingredients for Braised Duck {Chinese Style Lu Ya 卤鸭}

Sear/Caramelize the Duck:

  1. Turn the heat to medium and heat the wok for 1 minute.
  2. Spray about 2 tsp canola oil using a homemade oil sprayer, add ginger and red or green onions into the wok, stir fry for about 10 seconds or till fragrant.
  3. Add the duck into the wok, breast side facing down, gently press down and cook for 2 minutes.
    Sear duck in the wok for cooking Braised Duck with Spices {Chinese Style Lu Ya 卤鸭}
  4. Carefully flip the duck, now breast side facing up, gently press down and cook for another 2 minutes.
    Sear duck in the wok
  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.
  6. Turn off the heat and remove the duck from the wok and set aside.
    Seared {Browned} duck for making braised duck
  7. Spread out the cane sugar in the wok, turn the heat to medium. Wait until the sugar starts to burn, about 1-2 minutes.
    Burn sugar in the wok
  8. Add the duck back to the Wok, roll duck around to coat the duck with the burnt sugar.
    Caramelized duck using burnt sugar in the wok

Braising the Duck:

  1. Mix the braising juice in the bowl and then slowly pour all over the duck, flip the duck to baste the other side of duck.
    Pour braising juice over duck in the wok
  2. Pour 2 cups of boiling water in a circular motion around the edge of the Wok. Make sure the duck's breast side is facing down.
    Braising duck with spices in the wok
  3. Turn the heat to simmer, cover the wok with a lid and cook for 1 hour.
  4. Carefully flip the duck using a pair of kitchen tongs, cover the lid and cook for another 30 minutes.
    Cooking Braised Duck with Spices Chinese Style in the Wok
  5. All done! Turn off the heat. Carefully flip the duck again, now that the duck's breast is facing down. Baste the duck with the juice in the wok and let it rest in the wok for about 10 minutes.
  6. All done! Place the duck on a serving plate, garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.
    Freshly Braised Duck with Spices Chinese Style Lu Ya 卤鸭

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 as ingredients are consumed. In fact, most of the soy sauce and are left behind in the concentrated juice. The duck itself is not too salty at all.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1029Total Fat: 82gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 48gCholesterol: 238mgSodium: 1154mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 55g

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

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