I’ve been wanting to develop easy duck pancakes with plum sauce recipe for the longest time. It’s one of my all-time favourite things to order in good Chinese restaurants. Cooking duck, in general, can be daunting and most often reserved for eating out, but this recipe takes the fuss out of it. The duck is juicy and delicious although won’t be as crispy as a deep-fried duck. This is the perfect meal to share around a table and where people can make their own. Alternatively, they could be impressive party snacks. Use Hoisin sauce if you prefer and don’t want to make plum sauce.
I developed this recipe to pair with the Essay Wines red blend. “Essay” refers to the popular abbreviation for South Africa (SA) as well as implying an “assemblage” or blending of things to create a whole greater than its parts.
ESSAY wines consist of 2 blended wines produced in a Mediterranean style representing the best from our area of Agter-Paarl. Their vineyards are unirrigated and planted on old Malmesbury shale soils producing wines with distinctive flavour and texture.
The ESSAY red is their take on a southern Rhone blend: the wine shows ripe berry fruit and soft gentle tannins with a brush of fine oak. With a hint of spice and a little smokiness, this medium-bodied red wine is smooth and packed with flavour. It was the perfect pairing for these duck pancakes with plum sauce. Hints of Chinese five-spice are dotted throughout the recipe adding so much exotic flavour.
*Cooking notes – try to roll out the pancakes as thin as possible. They are really easy to make. You will know the dough is ready after about 6-8 minutes of kneading and when it becomes springy to the touch. If in doubt carry on kneading it a bit more. This recipe makes a little more plum sauce than is required so be very generous with it. You could also freeze off any leftovers for future use.
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To make a cherry sauce instead:
This is enough sauce to use for 2-3 duck breasts.
- 1 cup cherries, 170gm, de pipped
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1-2 Tbsp water
Work on a ratio of 1 tablespoon of honey and 3/4 tsp 5 spice per duck breast and make accordingly. You will get 3 – 4 pancakes per duck breast so this quantity of pancakes makes enough for 4 duck breasts.
Recipe – serves 4-6 as a starter.
Easy duck pancakes with plum sauce
- 3 duck breasts
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1 ½ tsp Chinese 5 spice
- Salt and white pepper
- 1 cucumber cut into julienne strips
- 1 bunch spring onions cut into julienne strips
- 5 plums cut in half and destoned
- 3 ½ Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp soy sauce
- ¾ tsp Chinese 5 spice
- 2 Tbsp water
Pancakes: (makes 14 – 16 pancakes)
- 200 gms flour
- 170 ml boiling water
- ½ tsp Chinese 5 spice
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped spring onions scallions
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and line a small baking tray with foil. Season the duck breasts well with salt and pepper on both sides and then place the fat side up on the tray. Drizzle the honey over the duck and then add the 5 spice.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Baste once or twice with the honeyed fat during the roasting.
- While the duck is roasting make your plum sauce. Add all the ingredients to a medium pot and simmer for around 15 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and allow to cool slightly and then blend with a stick blender until smooth.
- To make the pancakes mix the 5 spice and the finely chopped spring onions with the flour and then add the boiling water. Knead this dough on a lightly floured surface for around 8 minutes and until it’s soft and springy to the touch. Keep adding a little flour if it gets sticky.
- Cut the dough into 16 even pieces and roll into balls. Using a rolling pin, lightly flour the surface and roll each ball out as thin as possible. Heat a non-stick skillet to high heat.
- Fry the pancakes for 20-30 seconds on each side. Remove before they become brown (they will turn white and start to bubble slightly). Set aside.
- When the duck has roasted set it aside to rest for a few minutes and then slice it into thin strips against the grain, season well with salt, and serve with the pancakes, plum sauce, cucumber, and spring onions.
*This post is proudly sponsored by Essay Wines