Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Chicken & Hoi Sin Chinese Pancakes

My family love Peeking duck that you can get from good Chinese butchers or restaurants.  Unfortunately duck is high in fat, especially as the part of the duck that you eat with duck pancakes is mainly the skin and the layer of fat under the skin.  I had a recipe for honey soy chicken kebabs, that I've adapted to make a healthier chicken version of Peeking duck for my kids.  Another lady on the Swank diet forum jokingly calls hers Peeking Cluck!

2 chicken breasts
2 spring onions
1 small continental or Lebanese cucumber
20 Chinese Peeking Duck pancakes (available from Chinese grocery stores)
Hoi Sin Sauce

2 tbsp Hoi Sin sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
pinch Chinese 5 spice powder (optional)


Trim the chicken breast of all fat and place in a glass or non-reactive dish.  Mix together the marinade ingredients, and thoroughly coat the chicken.  Leave in the fridge for several hours, or as long as you have.  After the chicken has had time to marinate, cook it for 20-25 minutes in a 180C/356F oven.

Cut the cucumber into 5 cm sections and then into matchsticks.  Do the same with the spring onions using only the white and light green part of the onion.

Heat the pancakes.  I steam mine in a bamboo steamer lined with round parchment paper with holes in it that I get from the Chinese grocer.  You can also microwave them.

Once the chicken is cooked, cut it into slices or strips.

Look how light and fluffy the pancakes are when you steam them.

Lay everything out on the table, so each person can make their own pancakes.  In a Chinese restaurant, the waiter would normally carve the duck in front of  you.

To make the pancake, smear some sauce onto the centre of the pancake, and top with slices of chicken, cucumber and onion.

Wrap up and enjoy

Serve with Chinese jasmine or Oolong tea.

Notes & Variations:
You could also try adding a little soy sauce to the marinade for a deeper colour and flavour.
Tian Mian Jiang is a sweet bean sauce that is used with Peeking duck pancakes.  It's not easy to get, so you can use Hoi Sin or maybe plum sauce instead.

Interesting Facts:
Traditionally these pancakes are served as part of a banquet.  After using the layer of skin and fat for the pancakes, the chef would then use the duck meat in various dishes such as  san choy bau or a stir fry and finish with a soup made from the duck bones.  If you live in Sydney and want to know where to get the best Peeking duck and san choy bau, see Not Quite Nigella's thoughts here.  I don't know how they ate so much duck in one night?

Real Peeking duck is quite a complicated process, made from a white feathered mallard duck from Beijing called Peeking Duck (funny that).  Air is pumped inside the ducks, then they are bathed in a maltose solution (from fermented barley) which gives them their red colour, hung out to dry, steamed and then roasted.  If you're not on a low-fat diet, best just to buy one.


  1. Love your recipes Kylie, must give this one a try too :)
    Cas x

  2. Your recipes are fabulous, your easy to follow tutorials even better Kylie, enjoy.x

  3. These look wonderful and I love the name Peking Cluck. I wonder are you losing weight on this diet as a happy by product

    1. Thanks Carolyn,
      Yes if you don't eat dairy or processed food you pretty quickly loose weight. I've upped the nuts and avocado to compensate a bit.
      Kylie x

  4. Ooh this looks yummy. My kids would love this and hubby. Will put it on my to do list! Thanks. Giulia.x

  5. Oh lord this looks delicious!! Def will be trying it . Thanks Kylie x

  6. thank you another great recipe Kylie, your tutorials make it so easy to follow!
    You have mentioned having a great recipe for soy chicken kebabs would you mind sharing this us with us as well:)
    what is your favourite brand of jasmine and oolong tea, anything in particular you get from a specialist Chinese grocery store in Valley or Sunnybank Hill?
    thanks again Kylie!:) Gosia

    1. Thanks Gosia - The chicken kebab recipe was similar but just used honey & soy sauce. Marinate the chicken, then place on skewer sticks and grill or BBQ.
      I buy jasmine tea in a little yellow square tin. Most of the writing is in Chinese but it does say Chun Hao Jasmine tea. They also sell an Oolong tea in a different coloured tin. I get it from the Asian supermarket at Sunnybank.I'll try & put a photo on facebook for you.
      Kylie x

  7. Hello Lovely,

    gosh your culinary talents never cease to amaze me!

    absolutely delicious and totally salivating from here.
    (love the tea too :)

    x Loulou


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