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Peking Duck

Mu shu pancakes steam quickly; warm eight at a time so they will stay pliable. Set out the duck and all the accompaniments so guests can fill their own pancakes.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Photography: David Malosh

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2016


  • 2 boneless duck-magret breasts (about 2 pounds; available at, room temperature, halved and patted dry
  • Coarse salt
  • Cabbage leaves or a parchment round with several small perforations, for steaming
  • 16 mushu pancakes (available in the freezer section of Asian groceries) or 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 4 Persian or mini cucumbers, cut on the bias into 1/4-inch slices, for serving
  • Baby Bok Choy Slaw, for serving
  • Thinly sliced chile peppers, hoisin and plum sauces, and very thinly sliced scallions, for serving


  1. Score skin side of each duck-breast half in a 1/2-inch crosshatch pattern. Season generously with salt.

  2. Arrange breast halves in a single layer, skin-side down, in a large skillet. Place over medium-high and cook until skin is crisp and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Flip, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking until a thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 135 degrees for medium-rare, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a carving board; let rest 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, set a steamer basket (preferably bamboo) lined with cabbage leaves or parchment in a wok or skillet containing 1 inch of simmering water. Place pancakes in basket, cover, and steam until warm and pliable, 3 to 4 minutes.

  4. Thinly slice duck on the bias, against the grain. Serve, with steamed pancakes, cucumbers, slaw, chiles, sauces, and scallions.

Cook's Notes

How to Score a Duck Breast
To render the fat from a duck breast and ensure crisp skin, use a sharp knife to score the fat side of each breast half in a 1/2-inch crosshatch pattern. Be sure to slice entirely through the skin and fat, but don’t penetrate the meat or it may dry out and overcook.

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