Saturday, February 6, 2021

Lucky Duck, Gold Bars, and Longevity Noodles for Lunar New Year #SundayFunday

Today the #SundayFunday bloggers are celebrating the Year of the Ox and Lunar New Year. Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting. She urged: Join me as we celebrate The Year of the Ox. Chinese New Year is on February 12th this year. Share your favorite Chinese Recipe with us.

Thanks to Stacy of Food Lust People Love, Sue of Palatable Pastime, Rebekah of Making Miracles, and Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm for coordinating this low-stress group.  Here's the line-up of recipes for this week's event...

Lucky Duck

There were several auspicious significances to duck for new year's, including fidelity, prosperity, and longevity. Okay, we'll take all of that. Note that this is less of a traditional recipe and more of an inspired recipe. It's also really flexible to include whatever sauce or glaze you want. The basic technique: 4 hours at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, glaze, then finish it at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

  • 1 duck
  • salt
  • mandarin oranges, lemons, and herbs to stuff the duck
  • jam, syrup, or sauce to glaze the duck
  • Also needed: 100% cotton twine, roasting pan with rack

Here's a more detailed how-to...unwrap the bird and remove all of the giblets from the duck's cavity. When your duck is empty, rinse it under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity with some salt.

With a sharp knife, score a diamond pattern into the duck skin on the breast. Slice very carefully - you want to cut through most of the fat without cutting into the meat. As luck would have it, a duck’s layer of fat is fairly thick. So this process is relatively easy once you get the hang of it.

Poke the duck’s skin all over with a sharp knife, creating small holes through which the fat can escape more easily. Only prick the skin, try not to poke the meat. Stuff the duck with whatever you like. I used mandarins, lemons, and some herbs from my garden.

It's time to truss the duck! Cross the legs and tie them together like this with a piece of butcher’s twine.

Now it goes into the oven, breast side up.

After the first hour, pull the pan out of the oven. The skin will still be pale, but should be a little bit crisp when poked. Pour off the duck fat into a separate container; I used a large mason jar.

Prick the skin all over with a knife. When pierced, the skin should let out more molten duck fat. Make sure to get the area around the legs, which is particularly fatty.

Flip the bird over, so it’s breast-side down. Pour off more of the duck fat. And pop it back into the oven, breast-side down, for another hour at 300 degrees.

After the second hour, pull the pan out of the oven. The skin will be browner, and more crisp. Prick the skin all over, again and flip the bird breast-side up. Pour off the duck fat again. 

Put it back in the oven, breast-side up, for 1 more hour at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the third hour, remove the pan from the oven. Your duck should be significantly browner and getting more crispy. Prick the skin all over, pour off more fat, and pop it back in the oven. Roast breast-side down for a final hour at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the 4th hour in the oven, pull the pan out of the oven and raise the heat up to 400 degrees.

Brush the duck with the jam, syrup, or sauce of your choice so that it's completely covered. Sprinkle with more sea salt.

Stick your pan back in the oven, and roast at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes - just until your duck is a beautiful brown color. Keep a close eye on it, and pull it out if it starts to burn.

Gold Bars

Spring rolls, known as 'Chun Juan', in Chinese, are eaten during the Lunar New Year as a symbol of wealth and prosperity because they resemble gold bars. The lucky saying for eating spring rolls is Hwung-Jin Wan-Lyang, which translates to 'a ton of gold.' These are certainly not totally traditional, but they were delicious. Go to my original recipe post: Chun Juan (Spring Rolls) for Lunar New Year.

Longevity Noodles

No Lunar New Year celebration would be complete without noodles which are eaten to represent a long life and should never be cut. Mushrooms naturally grow quickly and symbolize prosperity; I used some large portobello mushrooms. And eating green vegetables such as watercress is important because green represents wealth in the year ahead. I used the greens of some scallions from our CSA (community-supported agriculture) box. I ran out of time to post the recipe for this dish, but it's coming soon. I promise.

That's a wrap for the #SundayFunday celebration of the Lunar New Year. I hope we've inspired you to head into your kitchen and make some delicious celebratory dishes. We'll be back next week as Rebekah of Making Miracles invites us to share recipes that inspire Romance for Valentines' Day. Stay tuned...


  1. It all sounds so yummy. I have never cooked a duck before...might have to look into that. I'm sure my local ethnic market must sell them...I don't recall ever seeing them at my everyday market.

    1. Check it out. I don't know if you have a Whole Foods or a Sprouts near you, but I suspect they would have it.

  2. A perfect Lunar New Year feast Cam. Thanks for joining me this week.

  3. What a gorgeous roasted duck - and I love all the detail on each traditional food and their meaning. What a lucky duck indeed!

  4. I don't think the duck considers himself lucky at this point. *laugh* But I would have considered myself lucky to dine with you. Duck is very much a favorite. And spring rolls? You are a temptress. And I am never late for noodles. :D

  5. My husband would love it if I cooked a whole duck. He always orders it if it's on a menu. I'm saving this recipe for when I'm ready to try!

  6. Wow that looks like a lot of cooking. I like the way the whole duck is cooked

  7. We didn't in 2020 because my elder daughter and son-in-law couldn't be with us but we've made Peking duck for the last few Christmas dinners before that. Truly a family favorite and yours looks amazing, Camilla!