This dish has quickly become my go-to for dinner parties. It’s simple, consisting of just an overnight marinade, some time roasting in the oven, and the pleasurable process of shredding the meat from the bones. Simple, store-bought hoisin sauce is used as a dipping sauce, and of course, I top the meat with scallions. For those who do not wish to get their hands involved to eat the lettuce wraps, the shredded duck meat is definitely good enough to eat on its own or over rice. I cannot deny that I shoved some forkfuls in my mouth as I shredded the meat. —Betty
skin-on, bone-in duck legs
cloves garlic, minced
freshly grated ginger
hoisin sauce, plus more for serving
dark soy sauce
light soy sauce
Sea salt, to taste
five spice powder
Thinly sliced fresh scallion, for garnish
Green leaf lettuce, washed and separated, for serving
Start by preparing the duck: rinse it and pat it dry, then place it in a shallow container with enough room to lay all 4 of the duck legs in one layer and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the garlic, ginger, Shaoxing wine, hoisin sauce, honey, and soy sauces to create a marinade. Pour the marinade over the duck legs and rub it into the surface, making sure that it covers the skin completely. Sprinkle the salt and five spice on top, then refrigerate uncovered, overnight, or until the surface is dry and crinkly.
Preheat oven to 375º F. Remove the duck from the shallow container, and place it on a foil-lined baking sheet, skin side up. Prick the skin with a fork all over, roughly 10 times per leg, to allow the fat to escape while cooking—this will help to ensure a crispy skin. Roast the duck for 40 minutes, then raise the temperature to 425º F and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the duck from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Once cool, shred the duck meat from the bone using your hands and a fork into a medium-sized serving bowl. To incorporate the duck drippings for a bit of extra flavor, add 1 teaspoon warm water to the pan and mix it in with a wooden spoon. Toss the duck meat in the juices and fat from the pan, then place back into the bowl.
Serve the duck with the scallions, hoisin sauce for dipping, and green leaf lettuce leaves to wrap the meat.