Red Roast Duck w/ Baby Bok Choy

Serves 4


  • 1 whole head garlic, unpeeled & halved horizontally
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 5" piece fresh ginger, cut into ¼" slices
  • 2 bunches scallions, white parts sliced into 2" lengths, green parts sliced ⅛" thick
  • 2 boxes (about 3 lbs) rock sugar candy, or 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark soy sauce
  • 3 cups soy sauce
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 2 cups Shaoxing wine, or 1 cup dry sherry
  • 4 cups water or more, if needed
  • 1 large duck, about 6 lbs
  • 4 Thai bird chiles, dried
  • 3 baby bok choy, halved & cored
  • 3-4 baked sweet potatoes


  1. In a large, deep pot, combine the wines, soy sauces, about 2 cups of water, rock candy, ginger, garlic, scallion whites, star anise, Thai bird chiles and cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer 5 minutes to melt rock candy
  2. Add duck to pot. If the liquid doesn’t cover the duck so that it is completely submerged, add more water
  3. Place a second pot or stainless steel bowl half-filled with water into the first to keep the duck submerged (see tips*) and simmer until the duck is very tender and almost falling off the bones, 2½ - 3 hours.  Do not overcook, or the meat will come apart
  4. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the bok choy
  5. Mound the innards of baked, sweet potatoes onto the serving platter
  6. Using a large-mesh spoon, carefully remove the duck and bok choy to platter atop sweet potatoes
  7. Spoon braising liquid over duck, and garnish with scallion greens

*Ming’s Tips:

  • The duck must be kept submerged in its braising liquid while it cooks. To accomplish this, find a pot or stainless steel bowl that will fit into the braising pot.  Fill it halfway with water and place it on the duck to weigh it down as it cooks
  • Don’t be put off by the amount of sugar called for for here; it’s needed to give the dish its mellow flavor
  • Suggested wine pairing: a full-bodied Syrah or Shiraz

Adapted from Blue Ginger, copyright 1999 Ming Tsai