The BEST Cantonese Roast Duck Made in the Sous Vide

Cantonese Roast Duck is a classic Chinese BBQ dish. It’s the perfect dish to add to your Chinese New Year’s feast. We are going to recreate this Cantonese roast duck in the sous vide AND make an even tastier version called Pipa duck (琵琶鴨). The trademark of this duck is crispy skin and flavor so deep that it penetrates the bones.

Not every Chinese BBQ shop sells this type of roast duck because the procedure is a lot more complicated.  In the shop, you’ll notice this version is hanging but it’s flat and opened. That’s actually where the name came from – it looks like the ancient Chinese instrument pipa.

Imagine if the duck was spatchcocked, flattened and hung up… kind of look like a pipa right?

Traditionally, this bird is spatchcocked (through the breast), poached, then roasted and/or fried. Using the sous vide we were able to recreate the same dish, and with tender meat through the breast and thighs. Yes, you can definitely separate and cook each part to your desired temperature, but we thought it would be cool to cook it whole. 

Sous Vide Cantonese Roast Duck (Pipa Duck)

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: cantonese, chinese, chinese bbq, chinese recipe, roast duck



  • 1 Whole Duck
  • 3 stalks Scallion cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 3 slices Ginger
  • 3 cloves Garlic smashed
  • 2 Star Anise


  • 2 pcs Chinese Fermented Red Bean Curd
  • 1 tbsp Maltose
  • 1 tbsp Rose Wine
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Five Spice Powder
  • ¼ tsp White Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Sugar

Finishing Glaze Skin Side

  • 1 tbsp Maltose
  • 1 tbsp Red Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Salt

Finishing Bone Side

  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Hoisin SauceSet sous vide to 150F (65.5C).


  • Set sous vide to 150F (65.5C).
  • Remove any innards from the duck cavity. Chop off the flat, and tip of the wing. Save these for the future.
  • Set duck on cutting board breast side up. Cut through between the two duck breast to separate.
  • Lay it out flat, bone side up. Trim any extra fat and slice around the chest bone to help flatten.
  • Flip over (bone side down), and flatten as much as possible by pressing down and cracking the bones.
  • In a mixing bowl, mash up the fermented tofu. Stir rose wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy, five spice powder, white pepper, and sugar until well combined.
  • Warm up maltose in the microwave so it’s easier to work with in 5 second intervals. Stir in maltose.
  • Brush marinade generously all over the duck.
  • Place duck in an expandable vacuum bag with the skin side on the smooth side of the bag.
  • Add the aromatics (scallions, ginger, garlic, star anise into the bag on the bone side)
  • Pour in the rest of the sauce over top of skin side.
  • Sous vide for 12 hours.
  • Once time is up, remove duck from the water bath and thoroughly dry the bird. Careful not to break the skin or wipe off too much of the marinade.
  • On the bone side brush equal parts oyster sauce and hoisin sauce (about 1 tablespoon each).
  • Place duck, skin side up, onto a wire rack atop a baking sheet. 
  • Generously salt the skin side of the duck
  • Warm maltose in the microwave in 5 second increments until easy to stir. Mix with red vinegar.
  • Brush liberally onto the duck skin, making sure that the liquid doesn’t pool on the skin.
  • Place in the fridge uncovered overnight, or until skin is completely dry.
  • Warm oven to 400F (205C).
  • Place duck into the oven until a nice deep mahogany color, approximately 30 mins. At this point, the duck will also be heated through.
  • (Optional) Heat oil in a wok. Hold duck over the oil in a spider strainer. Carefully ladle oil over the skin until desired color is reached and skin is crispy. Careful not to the bubble the skin.

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