“This Cantonese dish is traditionally served the day before Chinese New Year. Yip Choi Khall’s has been cooking and perfecting her version of the dish for over 50 years now. Her choice of treasures for the stuffing beautifully compliment the succulent duck and addition of fat choi. Browning the duck before steaming seals the bird, ensuring all the flavours remain in the duck during the steaming process″ Adam Liaw, Destination Flavour Singapore






Skill level

Average: 4 (11 votes)


  • 3 kg whole duck, cleaned and dried thoroughly
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped 
  • fat choi (hair vegetable)
  • spring onions, chopped (to serve)



  • ½ cup garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ cup shallots, peeled
  • 1 cup pork (lean shoulder) diced 2 cm pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped,
  • 4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup Lap Cheong (Chinese sausage)
  • 1 cup rehydrated shitake mushrooms 
  • 1 cup lotus seed (see Note)
  • 1 cup semi-cooked gingko nuts (see Note)
  • 1 cup water chestnuts
  • 1 cup dried chestnuts
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup pre-soaked barley 
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Chinese rice wine
  • ¼ cup water 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time overnight

To prepare the duck, heat the oil in a hot wok and fry all sides of the duck until the skin is golden. Set aside in a deep round roasting tin, reserving any the oil that is left in the wok.

To make the stuffing, fry the whole cloves of garlic and shallots until golden and then remove and set aside in a bowl. On a medium heat, next add the remaining stuffing ingredients in the order shown above, until the oil and fragrances are released.

Spoon the stuffing into a large bowl, trying to leave as much liquid in the wok as possible. Stuff the duck until tightly packed, capping off the end of the cavity with a few of the mushrooms. Any remaining stuffing can be tucked around the outer edges of the duck.

Spoon the remaining liquid from the wok over the duck and cover very tightly with foil, completely sealing the duck.

To double-steam the duck, fill a large stock pot with just enough water to sit the tin in. Gently lower the tin holding the duck into the water and cover tightly with the lid.

Bring to the boil and then turn down very low to simmer for 2 hour. Half way through the steaming, remove the duck and the foil and sprinkle the fat choi over the top of the duck. Cover and steam for one more hour.

Garnish with shallots (spring onions) before serving.



• Soak the barley and the lotus seeds in water overnight

• You can buy pre-shelled gingko nuts from Asian grocers. 

• Fat choy translates from Cantonese to mean hair vegetable. It is a blue-green moss that looks like black human hair.

• For double steaming the duck you will need a large enough saucepan to fit the tin in which the whole duck sits.


Destination Flavour Singapore airs Thursdays at 8pm on SBS. Visit the program page for more details, recipes and guides.