Beer braised duck recipe (pi jiu ya)

Legend has it that beer braised duck (also known as beer duck stew) was invented by the Qing dynasty emperor Kangxi. The story goes that he accidentally knocked his sorghum wine into a duck stew, and found that it improved the taste of the dish. Nowadays, the recipe usually uses Tsingtao beer, but most beers work, so you can test it out with your favourite.

In this version, I’m using Lowland Glen from the Harviestoun Brewery because the description mentioned a fruity finish with malty undertones. In the past, I’ve also used Guinness, which gave the duck a heavier taste.

The following recipe will give you quite a spicy version of the dish, so if you prefer a more lightly spiced version, I’d strongly suggest halving the chilli, peppercorns and fennel.

The cooking time is 50 mins (although prep time is super short), and this recipe serves 2. It’s really easy to make – as you can see, there are fewer steps than usual. Ideally, use a wok when you cook this.

Beer Braised Duck

Ingredients
2 duck legs or 1/4 duck
2 star anise
1/2 tsp of fennel seeds
1/2 tsp of Sichuan peppercorns
5-6 dried chilli
1 tbsp of soya sauce
1 bottle of beer (around 330ml)
1 baby spring onion

Oil for frying, and salt to taste.

Beer Braised Duck

Step 1: cut the duck into smaller pieces. As a rough guide, they should be 3-4cm long and around 2cm wide.

Beer Braised Duck

Step 2: add a little olive oil to a pan (as little as possible, as duck will produce quite a lot of oil on its own), then once the oil starts to bubble, add the star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorns and chilli.

Step 3: after around 1 minute of cooking the spices, add in the duck. Stir before dusting with a touch of salt and adding the soya sauce. Keep on high heat. Stir continuously for 10 minutes, or until when there is no more liquid at the bottom of the wok/pan.

Beer Braised Duck

Step 4: add the beer and switch to medium low heat. Simmer for 35 minutes with the lid off.

Beer Braised Duck

Step 5: add more salt to taste if needed, then sprinkle on with the spring onion and cook for a further minute. Now it’s ready to serve!

You’ll need to open the window when you make this, as the spices will make you cough once they heat up.

Let me know which beer you decided to go for when trying out this recipe!

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