Moo Shu Duck


for the duck:
1 6 lb duck
zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons five spice powder
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger powder
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

for the filling:
1/3 cup dried tiger lily buds
6 dried cloud ear mushrooms
5 dried black or shiitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 cups shredded napa cabbage
1/2 cup chicken or duck stock
2 tablespoons shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with an equal amount of water
1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

for the omelet:
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup diced green onion

for the pancakes:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup boiling water
sesame oil

Preheat oven to 325. In a small bowl, whisk together the zest, ginger, sugar, salt, pepper and five spice powder. Rub the dry rub into the skin of the duck. Place the duck on a roasting rack on a roasting pan and roast for 2 hours or until cooked though*. Allow to cool slightly then shred the meat and set aside.

Add the flour and boiling water to a boil. Whisk together. Flour a clean, flat surface. Knead the dough until smooth, 3-5 minutes. Cover in plastic wrap and let sit for 30-40 minutes. Roll the dough into a tube about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut into 16 equal pieces. Use the palm of your hand to flatten each one slightly. Brush the top of half the rounds with sesame oil. Top with a second pancake. Roll them together until they are 5-6 inches wide. Stack, covered with a damped cloth until ready to heat. Heat a nonstick pan and cook each pair for about 2 minutes on each side. Separate them into individual pancakes. Wrap the stack in foil until ready to serve. If needed, steam in a bamboo steamer or microwave them for a few seconds to reheat.

Meanwhile, rehydrate the mushrooms and lily buds in hot water. Cut off any hard bits on the lily buds and tie them in a knot. Thinly slice the mushrooms. Set aside. Whisk the omelet ingredients together. Cook the eggs in a flat layer in a nonstick skillet or work. Slice into strips. Set aside. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the vegetables, lily buds, mushrooms and broth. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and shaoxing. Stir fry for 1 minute then add the cornstarch mixture. Cook until the mixture boils. Add the egg and duck. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Serve in pancakes with hoisin sauce.

*If you would like to reserve the duck fat for another recipe, drain it off the bottom of pan every 1/2 hour to 45 minutes and pour into a heat safe container. Duck fat is amazingly tasty to cook with.

My thoughts:

This is a bit of a time consuming recipe, I admit, but it is worth it. The pancakes are super simple to make (who knew?) and the duck is so flavorful that when you sit down to eat, you won’t remember that it took the better part of an evening. If you are a planner, make the duck ahead of time and just toss it in with everything else when you actually want to eat. Normally moo shu is made with pork (or occasionally chicken) but we found a duck for a good price and thought it would make an excellent variation. We were right, the meat is succulent and adds a richness to the mixture that is similar to what you would get from pork but slightly more complex. Not to slight pork, you know how deep my love for pork runs, but it is a wonderful, delicious change. Some of the ingredients are a bit exotic but any Chinese (or even Korean in our experience) store will have them and since they are dried they keep for ages, possibly even years. I really would try to find them all, they add the perfect textures and flavors to the dish and are sorely missed if absent.

Leftovers hold up surprisingly well. Just refrigerate the pancakes and filling (separately)in air tight containers and reheat them over low heat the next day. What a treat it is to have homemade moo shu pancakes for lunch!


  1. I'm incredibly intrigued by this recipe as well as the possibility for having an actual excuse to visit a Chinese market. Very cool! This will have to wait until after I survive our move though.

  2. What a great , and different, recipe for duck. Sound like it's worth the extra effort!

  3. Very creative! I like your take on the duck!

  4. This sounds so awesome. We've been working with duck a lot at school recently (duck confit beignets are the best). Great recipe!

  5. lovely recipe… really tempting picture..

  6. Oh heavens ! Looks amazing…

  7. I've been tempted to make these pancakes for a long time… I am not sure I'll find them as easy to make as you did.. 🙂 but I might give this recipe a try

    we love duck…

    thanks for posting!