April 27, 2018

Duck Buns

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Here’s the love child of a lunch sandwich and a dim sum bun. I live a short stroll away from Chinatown now, so I picked up an inspirational barbecued duck and a giant bag of ready-to-be-steamed buns. The result is an homage to chef David Chang’s awesome Chinese buns with pork belly and cucumber. I stripped the duck and got to work. And so should you.

      Steamed bun with Chinese barbecued duck. Credit: Susan Sampson


2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) kosher salt
1 tsp (5 mL) white vinegar
1 large cucumber, halved, seeded, sliced
Chinese barbecued duck
plain Chinese steaming buns
1/2 cup (125 mL) hoisin sauce
5 green onions (white + light green parts), thinly sliced
Sriracha sauce to taste

In medium bowl, stir together sugar, salt and vinegar. Stir in cucumber. Let sit at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate up to overnight. Drain.

Strip duck, discarding bones, excess fat and all but crispiest skin. (You should have 4 cups/1 L meat and crispy skin.) Coarsely chop meat. Stir in hoisin to coat evenly. Slice and reserve crispy skin.

Fill wok with 1 inch (2.5 cm) water. Bring to boil on high heat. Working in batches, add steamer insert with buns. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Steam 15 minutes, or until fluffy and cooked through. Or steam according to package directions.

Using small serrated knife, slice each bun three-quarters through. Place duck mixture and crispy skin on bottom half of buns. Top with cucumber slices and onions. Dot with sriracha.

Makes 22.

  • To enjoy just one or a few Duck Buns at a time, use these amounts: 1 bun, 2 tbsp (30 mL) duck, 1 tsp (5 mL) hoisin sauce, 1/4 oz (10 g) prepared cucumber, 1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 mL) onion.
  • Instead of green onions, substitute 1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced red onion.

Shopping Cart: If you can’t find fresh buns, go for the frozen ones. Mine were each 2-3/4 inches (7 cm) long and 1-3/4 inches (4 cm) tall.

Oh No: I use the duck at room temperature. Never reheat duck (or any fowl). It gets so rubbery. If refrigerated, use it as is or let it sit on the counter while the buns steam.