This dish, vit quay, is Vietnam's answer
to Peking duck, although here the succulent, crispy bird is enjoyed in one
course, whereas the Chinese specialty is served in three courses - the
crispy skin, stir-fried meat, and a broth made from the carcass. Both the
Chinese and Vietnamese covet the crispy, which makes the dish distinctive.
In a Vietnamese home, the duck is served with pickled vegetables or a
salad, several dipping sauces, and either a fragrant steamed rice or a
stir-fried rice made using the duck offal.
For the marinade
Duck, about 2.25 kg in weight
Fresh root ginger, peeled, roughly chopped and lightly crushed
Garlic, peeled and crushed
Lemon grass, halved and crushed
Spring onions (scallions), halved and crushed
Ginger dipping sauce, nuoc mam gung
Pickled vegetables and salad leaves, to serve
In a bowl, beat the marinade ingredients
together until the honey has dissolved. Using your fingers, rub the skin
of the duck lightly to loosen it, until you can get your fingers between
the skin and the meat.
Rub the marinade all over the duck, inside
its skin and out, then place it in the refrigerator for
24 hours. If any of the marinade drips into the tray, rub it back over
Preheat the oven to 220oC/425oF/Gas
7. Stuff the ginger, garlic, lemon grass and spring onions into the
duck's cavity and tie the legs with string. Using a bamboo or metal
skewer, poke holes in the skin, including the legs.
Place the duck, breast side down, on a
rack over a roasting pan and cook it in the oven for
45 minutes, basting from time to time with the juices that have dripped
into the pan.
After 45 minutes, turn the duck over so
that it is breast side up. Baste it generously and return it to the oven
for a further 45 minutes, basting it every 15 minutes. The duck is ready
once the juices run clear when the bird is pierced with a skewer.
Serve immediately, pulling at the skin and
meat with your fingers, rather than neatly carving it.
Serve with ginger dipping sauce, nuoc mam
gung, pickled vegetables and salad leaves for wrapping up the morsels.
Crisping the skin
It is essential to allow the duck to rest
in the refrigerator for a day and a night to let the skin dry out so
that it will become crispy when cooked.