Chinese duckies…

bento with peking duck

Some Chinese food in my bento! Not sure if I should still call it a bento, but I don’t know the Mandarin word for lunch box. Is there actually a Chinese version like the Japanese bento or Korean dosirak? I might have to research this to see if I need to expand my blog!

We love crispy Peking Duck. Whenever we go to a Chinese restaurant or order take out, we tend to include a starter to share. It’s so satisfying to fill – and eat! –  those little pancakes with the slow roasted meat, crispy skin, spring onions and cucumber and dip this in some hoisin sauce.

Although I do cook duck sometimes at home, I have never yet attempted to make Peking Duck. Usually I stick to French recipes like confit de canard or duck a l’orange. I think that the whole process of brining, air drying, glazing etc is a bit too intimidating to attempt but luckily I have now discovered a supermarket cheat to serve this dish at home.

The Gressingham Duck people  are selling precooked, marinated, seasoned Crispy ducks or sometimes supermarkets have their own branded ones (we tried out various brands but prefer Gressingham). Because all the preparation – and most of the roasting- has already been done, you only need to pop these in the oven for 40-60 min and you have lovely Peking Duck at home. We know that they are not as authentic and delicious as the “proper” ones, but they are a good alternative.

The ducks usually come with pancakes (which can be reheated in the microwave but we actually prefer steaming them in the rice cooker) and hoisin sauce and you just have to add spring onion and cucumber.

I used some left overs for this bento, but packed rice instead of pancakes. The little container holds some hoisin sauce and I added some broccoli to up the vegetable. When I finished packing, I thought that the bento lacked a bit of colour, so I added some little ducks. I didn’t have a small duck cutter, so I used a tiny chicken cutter and created these “Chinese carrot duck” variety. One of them made it into the hoisin pool 🙂

Do you enjoy Peking Duck? Have you ever attempted to make it – from scratch – at home?

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10 thoughts on “Chinese duckies…

  1. Traditional characters {mainly used in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan}: 便當 (biàn dang; most common), 便當盒 (biàn dang hé; specifically referring to the box), 飯盒 (fàn hé), 饌盒 (zhuàn hé; specifically referring to the box)
    Simplified characters {mainly used in China}: 便当 (xiàn dang; most common), 便当盒 (xiàn dang hé; specifically referring to the box), 饭盒 (fàn hé), 馔盒 (zhuàn hé; specifically referring to the box)

    Someone’s getting out of touch with all three East Asian languages, though, so hopefully other readers will correct any mistake above.

    • For what I know, the 便當 (bian dang) refers to the Japanese Bento and is not a common Chinese word.
      Hong Kong uses 飯盒, which literally translates to ‘Rice box’.
      It just means what it’s called, rice in a box, lunch in a box, meal in a box.
      When you buy a rice box, it’s usually a cheap takeaway box, not a fancy wooden box.

      If it is a fancy rice box, it’s probably inspired by Japan.

      • The “most common” part depends on whether the admin will be visiting or particularly interested in any of the countries or just surfing the Net. 便當 actually generates mores search results than 飯盒. There are really many instances when it is used to refer to packed meals in general. It is not uncommon for the Chinese to adopt Japanese terminology for their own culture even in the modern day, although you are right to caution about regional differences, especially given the different historical relationships with Japan. The Japanese word “monogatari” (story), for example, has been incorporated into Chinese shop and product names to project a kind of romantic commercial image:
        http://homepage.ntu.edu.tw/~karchung/pubs/Japanloans_rev.pdf (P7)

        • The reason for better search results is because a ‘bento’ is something you can brag about, a ‘rice box’ less so.
          A lot of Japanese Kanji are the same as Chinese symbols, so words exchange aren’t that uncommon indeed, thanks for the pfd 🙂
          There are also words used in a different way, while spelled with the same kanji.

          The Japanese 大丈夫 means, ‘I’m ok’ or could be used to as someone if they are ok.
          The same 大丈夫 in Chinese means ‘a big man’ or someone manly, ‘a real man’.
          This is pretty funny at times.

          I am no expert in language, just happen to know these 🙂

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