Braised Duck – 卤鸭

Thank God it’s Friday, and do we have a TREAT to try over the weekend! The Chinese, especially Teochews and Hokkiens love to braise their food. A good braised duck is cooked with love in a pot of soy sauce based braising liquid with essential aromatics. We added chuan xiong (ligusticum) and dried mandarin peels on top of the usual cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves.

Using quality soy sauces also makes a big difference to the taste. Our favorite topping to go with braised duck are braised eggs and tau kwa. If time permits letting the braised duck rest for longer time before eating it lets the braised taste penetrate your dish better. Perfect for a scrumptious lunch treat this weekend!

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  • Servings: 4

  • Time: 1 hr 30 min

  • Skill: Easy


  1. 1 duck large (with excess fats at the end removed)

  2. 100g coarse salt (use to wash off wax on duck)

  3. 2 litres boiling water (to scald duck before braising)

  4. 4 tbsp. oil

  5. 6 tbsp. brown sugar

  6. 60g rock sugar

  7. 10 cloves garlic

  8. 10 shallots

  9. 50g ginger (sliced thickly)

  10. 50g galangal (sliced thickly)

  11. 5 cinnamon sticks

  12. 5 star anise

  13. 5 slices chuan xiong (ligusticum)

  14. 20 cloves

  15. 5 dried mandarin peels

  16. 2 tbsp. black peppercorns

  17. 1 cup thick dark soya sauce

  18. ½ cup light soya sauce

  19. Adjust the following to taste and amount of water

  20. 1 ½ cups thick dark soya sauce

  21. 1 cup light soya sauce

  22. 4 litres hot water or enough to cover duck completely

  23. 3 tbsp. salt (adjust to taste)

  24. 2 tbsp. rice wine

  25. 3 tbsp. oyster sauce

  26. 1 tbsp. sesame oil

  27. 100ml tapioca starch mix with water (add or reduce depending the preference of thickness of gravy)

  28. 3 tau kwa

  29. 6 hard boil eggs (shells removed)

  30. 1 cucumber (sliced)

  31. Coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Rub salt over duck and let it marinate for 20mins

  2. Wash off salt and also wax from the under wing and thighs of the duck

  3. Scald duck with boiling water for 2 mins and set aside

  4. Add 4 tbsp. oil to large pan

  5. Add brown sugar and rock sugar and cook till sugar caramelized

  6. Next add 10 cloves garlic, 10 shallots, 50g ginger (sliced thickly), 50g galangal (sliced thickly)

  7. 5 cinnamon sticks, 5 star anise, 5 slices chuan xiong (Ligusticum), 20 cloves, 5 dried mandarin peel and 2 tbsp. black pepper corns

  8. Stir fry till fragrant then add 1 cup dark soya sauce and ½ cup light soya sauce

  9. Bring to boil

  10. Add duck to large braising pot and add the sauce mixture

  11. Pour in 4 litres of hot water or enough to completely cover duck

  12. Add another 1 ½ cup of dark soya sauce and 1 cup of light soya sauce (adjust accordingly to the amount of water added)

  13. Adjust seasoning for salt and sugar

  14. Bring to boil and lower heat to low, cover and let it braise for 1 to 1.5 hours

  15. Remove duck and let it rest for 30 mins

  16. Strain and remove spices from braising liquid

  17. Remove top layer of oil.

  18. Transfer 2 litres of braising liquid to another pot

  19. Add 6 hardboiled eggs and 3 tau kwa and simmer for 30 mins (do not boil as the rapid boiling damages the inside of the tau kwa)

  20. Remove eggs and tau kwa and set aside

  21. Add 3 tbsp. oyster sauce, 2 tbsp. rice wine and 1 tbsp. sesame oil, to braising liquid

  22. Bring to boil, then lower the heat

  23. And thicken with tapioca starch solution (adjust depending the preference of thickness of gravy)

  24. Slice cucumber, cut duck into serving portions, add braised egg and tau kwa.

  25. Pour gravy over duck and garnish with fresh coriander leaves