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Peking Duck Recommendation


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#1 Flattail

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 12:40 PM

My SO is requesting Peking Duck for his birthday. It's been a couple of years. Last time we had a disastrous meal at Sungari Pearl. Downtown Sungari used to have good Peking Duck, but again it's been years. Wasn't overally impressed with Legin or Wong's King. Prefer the duck with crepes vs "pancakes". Any suggestions? Jin Wah (Bvtn)? - never been there, but I've seen it on here recommended for other Chinese food. Decent ambiance would be a plus too. Thanks for your help.

#2 WAfoodie

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:35 PM

My SO is requesting Peking Duck for his birthday. It's been a couple of years. Last time we had a disastrous meal at Sungari Pearl. Downtown Sungari used to have good Peking Duck, but again it's been years. Wasn't overally impressed with Legin or Wong's King. Prefer the duck with crepes vs "pancakes". Any suggestions? Jin Wah (Bvtn)? - never been there, but I've seen it on here recommended for other Chinese food. Decent ambiance would be a plus too. Thanks for your help.

Was going to recommend Wong's King but you weren't impressed....Wondering if you went to the SE Division location (versus their Sandy and Estacada locations) and if you had gone during Saturday/Sunday nights when their "A" chefs are there. Since peking duck is such a labor instensive specialty dish (usually a two day prep) I would stick to restaurants that serve to larger number of customers, and as a result, a high turnover of food which usually happens on the busier weekends to ensure your next dining success.
Have never had peking duck with crepes, always the traditional Mandarin pancakes.

#3 SarahWS

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:22 PM

I doubt they have crepes, but Yummy Yummy is where I would go for Peking duck. Their BBQ is amazing - I've thoroughly enjoyed their BBQ pork and duck. Never called ahead to order Peking Duck in advance or spent the money for it...

Here's a random photo of what I'm used to eating with Peking Duck to see if we are talking about the same thing:

Posted Image

Apparently, there's a huge variation in what Cantonese restaurants and Northern-style Chinese restaurants serve with Peking duck. I never knew this, so thanks for the chance to do a little googling. East Coast of the US has mostly Northern-style Chinese (as that's who settled there) and the West Coast has more Cantonese (due to the larger migration from Southern China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong). So as us Chinese food appreciators move across the country, what we expect from "Peking Duck" is really different.

From this thread on LA area Chowhound on a debate on Peking Duck (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/53358):

My experience with Peking duck in the US is that Cantonese (ie Hong Kong) restaurants serve it with steamed buns and hoisin sauce. Northern-style restaurants serve it with the more authentic pancakes and tianmianjiang. To me, both are very good but I think the pancakes and tianmianjiang are the more authentic/traditional/Beijing style. - Yvonne


Yummy Yummy, Wong's King, and Legin are all Cantonese restaurants, so I doubt they have pancakes. You might want to try buying the Peking Duck to go from In Good Taste (downtown or SE 82nd) and getting the crepes you prefer from one of the Asian grocery stores in town. Apparently most restaurants buy the same crepes you find premade in the frozen section of Chinese or Asian grocery stores due to how time consuming they are...

Sarah

#4 dagrassroots

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 09:35 PM

I think this thread explains peking duck well and the lack of authentic peking duck in the US. http://chowhound.cho...m/topics/605564

#5 dagrassroots

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 09:42 PM

I think this thread explains peking duck well and the lack of authentic peking duck in the US. http://chowhound.cho...m/topics/605564

"The difference between Cantonese Roast Duck (CRD) and Peking Duck (PD) starts first with how the duck is raised.

Ducks for PD are specially raised, and force fed a special dietary mixture.

PD is also prepared differently -- incl. semi-dried before cooking making the meat extra dense and flavorful, then air-dried afterwards which renders the skin extra crispy. Different spices are also used in the prep of the PD versus the CRD.

PD preparation also uses special wood (usu. a type of fruitwood) in the oven.

All of this lends to the key and unique feature of the PD, which is the extra crispy skin. Makes even the most mouth-watering Chicharrones rubbery by comparison.

Also, a PD is served with special requirements. Usually in three ways -- skin, meat, soup (from the carcass). Also the duck has to be carved into exactly 120 pieces if I recall correctly."

#6 SarahWS

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 09:57 PM

Awesome research, dagrassroots. All of this makes it pretty clear that what's served in Portland is Cantonese-style Roast Duck. Close approximation, but not true Peking Duck. I would say the best bet for getting what Flattail is describing is to go to Fubonn Supermarket, buy the rice pancakes from the frozen section (the Chinese name is Bao Bing), then head to one of the Cantonese places around town that offer Cantonese style Roast Duck (Yummy Yummy, In Good Taste, Wing Wa BBQ, etc etc), steam the pancakes wrapped in paper towel in the microwave, and have a wonderful Roast Duck dinner at home.

Either that, or buy a plane ticket for Beijing, LA, or Vancouver BC for some real Peking Duck :rolleyes:

Sarah

#7 abefroman

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 10:40 PM

I think this thread explains peking duck well and the lack of authentic peking duck in the US. http://chowhound.cho...m/topics/605564

"The difference between Cantonese Roast Duck (CRD) and Peking Duck (PD) starts first with how the duck is raised.

Ducks for PD are specially raised, and force fed a special dietary mixture.

PD is also prepared differently -- incl. semi-dried before cooking making the meat extra dense and flavorful, then air-dried afterwards which renders the skin extra crispy. Different spices are also used in the prep of the PD versus the CRD.

PD preparation also uses special wood (usu. a type of fruitwood) in the oven.

All of this lends to the key and unique feature of the PD, which is the extra crispy skin. Makes even the most mouth-watering Chicharrones rubbery by comparison.

Also, a PD is served with special requirements. Usually in three ways -- skin, meat, soup (from the carcass). Also the duck has to be carved into exactly 120 pieces if I recall correctly."


To prepare Peking Duck, Duck is plucked and cleaned and then inflated with air to separate the skin from the body. Ducks are hung through the neck and blanched with boiling water. The dark crispy skin is created by washing the duck with a strong maltose solution. They ar then hung to air dry so that the skin will cook until crispy. When the ducks are sufficiently dry the bottom is plugged and the body cavity is filled two thirds full with boiling water to steam the ducks while they roast. This helps to keep the meat moist. Ducks are then roasted over fruitwood at high heat. This insures a crisp skin and also causes most of the fat to melt and run out. Humidity is very important and the duck needs to be hung in a cold and dry environment prior to roasting to make sure the skin dries out correctly. True pancakes are made with two pieces of dough (made with wheat flour)that are rolled out together and cooked on each side as a pair so that only one side is slightly browned. Pancakes are separated and reheated in a steamer before eating. Sweet bean paste called tian mian jiang is used traditionally but plum sauce usually sustituted for Westerners. Sliced duck goes on the pancake with some bean sauce and a litlle sliced green onion and then rolled up. Either done by the person carving or by individual diners. If Taste of China is still in Lake Grove they did Peking Duck, chef is from Beijing. However, I agree that Good Taste and Legin have good Roast Duck, Pig and other pork goodness.

#8 Prone to Hyperbole

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 11:51 PM

Wow, and Wow again...

I read your initial question, and was going to reply something to the effect of, "Wow, you didn't like Wong's King's Peking Duck???". Then I read the first response and that's exactly what it said :rolleyes:

I agree with pretty much all the info you have already received. And man I learned some stuff from the posters before me. Sarah's response was especially on. The bbq duck at Good Taste may be unrivaled. Ironically, both Good Tastes are tops. Though I don't think they're related (Old Town and 82nd). And Yummy Yummy is a great option!

Anyway, if you go to Wong's King, they'll likely do 2 course. The second of which is so excellent minced with all the veg and herbs. It's all pretty typical, and they don't do the soup (maybe if you ask?), but it's only $31 or 2 dollars, and you don't have to order ahead. Proper table service is almost always very good (separating the skin, etc.)

But I wanted to say maybe Wing Wa on 82nd, though it will lack in decor if this is a special event. And Jin Wah Beaverton is good for certain things. But mostly the Vietnamese items, and Hong Kong style dim sum. I don't think the duck will be great there. Could be wrong. (That location is Vietnamese-centric, and owned. Good hot pots, etc)

Two last ideas that I have NOT confirmed, but have a feeling about:
Bruce, the owner, at China Delight on Canyon is known to put MUCH effort into preparing special cuisine off the menu if you call and discuss it with him. "Real" Chinese food. Not the sweet and sour stuff that the menu is mainly comprised of. His skills are off the hook! And maybe he'll do a duck properly if you call ahead. (?)

The other that I have not tried, but went in and check out to much pleasant surprise (talked to the owner, got a menu, etc) is Fong Huong (formerly Golden Fountain) on Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, maybe a half mile, tops, west of Jin Wah Beaverton.

Hope you find something successful to you liking. Please post it if you find the crepes you are looking for. I'd love to know about it!

Cheers,

pth
breakin' the law, breakin' the law!

#9 ExtraMSG

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:00 AM

I don't think it's true that places like Wong's King are only serving Cantonese roast duck. These places serving Chinese BBQ have roast duck and pig, but some, such as Wong's, also have specifically Peking Duck, on the menu. While I don't know if it's cut into exactly 120 pieces, I do think they make the extra effort to inflate the skin, blanch it, air dry it, etc.
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#10 Flattail

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 08:53 AM

Thanks to all for your suggestions and research. Now to make a decision :think: . Beijing seems to far. Vancouver, a little too far right now. We'll pick a place and I'll report back.

#11 abefroman

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 08:55 AM

I don't think it's true that places like Wong's King are only serving Cantonese roast duck. These places serving Chinese BBQ have roast duck and pig, but some, such as Wong's, also have specifically Peking Duck, on the menu. While I don't know if it's cut into exactly 120 pieces, I do think they make the extra effort to inflate the skin, blanch it, air dry it, etc.


Have had Peking Duck on a couple of occasions from Wong King. It is authentic and quite tasty. They will do soup if you ask.

#12 WAfoodie

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 09:37 AM

This is a random picture of peking duck, very different from roast duck.....it's all about the crispy skin :think:

Posted Image