China’s best hoisin duck
In the centre of China’s remote southwestern Yunnan province is the mountainous town of Yiliang, home to a type of roast duck that rivals its more famous cousin from Beijing. The recipe dates back to the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912) when restaurateur Zhang Wen brought a roast duck recipe home from the Chinese capital and began concocting his own version using a local duck breed, paired with a marinade of local honey and spices. The duck was then roasted in closed earthen ovens over long braids of pine needles to give the meat a unique aroma.
Today there are more than 1,000 Yunnan duck farms in the area and several restaurateurs keep the tradition alive. The most famous establishment for this dish is Xuecheng Restaurant, where head chef Lan Guijun has been preparing the delicacy for decades. Served with scallions and plum sauce, the crispy skin and tender meat is an experience worth travelling far for. If you can’t make it to Yunnan, head for your local Tesco chilled aisle instead and pick up The City Kitchen Shredded Hoisin Duck Noodles.