Compared to Peking duck, the preparation of roast duck is more complex. Peking duck doesn’t require stuffing or a complex seasoning process, while roast duck needs to be marinated with a mix of over ten or twenty spices. During the roasting process, it also needs to be basted with sauce and its cavity sealed.
The method of consumption is different as well. Roast duck is usually eaten with lotus leaf pancakes, cucumber strips, and sauces all together. The lotus leaf pancake is chewy, the duck skin is crispy, and the cucumber strips balance out the richness.
Roast duck can be directly carved into pieces and eaten. Because it’s pre-marinated and the cavity is filled with seasoned juices, the flavors have fully permeated the texture of the meat during the cooking process, resulting in a savory, tender, and lingering taste.
Another way to eat it is to peel open the bottom of the duck, pour out the sauce inside, and dip the duck meat in the sauce.
There’s also a method where you dip it in sour plum sauce, which is even more unique in flavor.
Usually, Father Su takes charge of cooking dishes like this, while Mother Su assists.
After bringing the duck home, it’s slaughtered and bled. The duck blood isn’t discarded; it can be used to make duck blood soup. Then the feathers are scalded off and the innards removed. The process of plucking feathers is particularly bothersome, especially since the ducks were moulting. The countless small down feathers nearly drove Su Chen and Su Mu crazy.
They also have to be very careful not to tear the duck skin; otherwise, the quality of the roast duck would be compromised.
Once they finished handling the duck, both siblings were already half exhausted. It was Chen Mengzhi who pulled out a few frozen lychees from the refrigerator that restored their spirits after they ate.
“Mu Mu, you should definitely plant a few fruit trees around your house.” Since her sister came back, the vegetables, fruits, even the chickens and ducks at home had changed in taste. They didn’t know what method she used, perhaps it was indeed as she said, a natural talent for cultivation.
Su Mu smiled at him, “I’m already planning to.”
They would plant a circle of roses on the outer perimeter as a defense, followed by various fruit trees, and then a large lawn.
By that time, they could sit on the lawn, enjoy the flowers, and eat fruits. Just thinking about it made them happy.
The duck had already been taken to the kitchen by Father Su for marinating. Su Chen and Su Mu had to jointly clean the roasting oven. The oven was a traditional clay oven, and it had been in the Su family for over ten years.
Later, when Su Chen started earning money from work and wanted to buy some household appliances for the family, he suggested getting a new oven for Father Su. However, no matter how he insisted, his father didn’t want it. He said he was used to the clay oven, and the roast duck it produced was more fragrant.
For roasting duck, they used charcoal made from lychee wood, which imparted a subtle fruitwood aroma to the duck. When Father Su finished marinating and preparing the duck, Su Mu had already preheated the oven, but whether the temperature was right depended on Father Su.
This type of clay oven isn’t as precise as a machine at controlling temperature; it all relies on the experience of the roasting chef.
Finally managing to fire up the oven, Father Su added two or three chickens as well. He chose medium-sized chickens, which were smaller in size so that the family wouldn’t have too many leftovers.
Once the chickens and ducks were hung in the roasting oven, Su Mu and the others could finally relax temporarily. However, Father Su had to constantly monitor the situation inside the oven, turning the birds at the right times to achieve the perfect balance of crispy skin and tender meat.
“Alright, why don’t you all go help your mom in the kitchen? She’s still busy with a lot of dishes,” Father Su waved them off.
Su Mu switched back to the kitchen and followed her mother’s every instruction.
By the time all the ingredients were prepared, it was already 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
After putting the rice on to simmer, Su Mu considered her mission accomplished and withdrew from the scene.
Mother Su only needed to put the prepared ingredients into the pot to cook, and her movements were quite swift.
All the dishes were brought to the table, and the roast duck was about to come out of the oven.
Su Mu, Su Chen, Chen Mengzhi, and even Mother Su were all standing around, eagerly awaiting. When the lid of the oven was lifted, a unique fragrance burst out, immediately enveloping the courtyard in its aroma.
“It smells amazing. Dad’s cooking skills are truly top-notch,” Su Mu couldn’t help but exclaim.
“That’s right, I love eating the roast duck Dad makes the most,” Su Chen chimed in. Only Chen Mengzhi curiously watched her father-in-law’s actions. Since she came into the Su family, her father-in-law had never made this roast duck before, so she didn’t know how extraordinary it tasted. However, judging from the aroma in the air, she could tell that it was definitely something special.
The containers for the roast duck and roast chicken were ready. Father Su held a relatively short hook, connected it to the hook inside the oven, and lifted both the hook and the birds at once.
The originally white ducks had turned golden-red all over, with a shiny glaze. Moreover, the ducks hadn’t shrunk from the high heat; on the contrary, they were quite plump.
The roast chicken looked the same. This oven batch was a resounding success.
Father Su wiped the sweat off his forehead and revealed a sincere smile. It had been several years since he last roasted ducks, but it seemed his skills were still there. He brought the containers into the kitchen, and in no time, several plates of roast duck and chicken appeared on the dining table.
The sky hadn’t completely darkened yet, but the lights in the courtyard were already on, casting a glow on the delectable dishes.
Su Mu was overwhelmed with desire, but she still restrained herself. She took a photo of the table with her own phone, and after everyone had taken their seats, she took another picture of herself with the spread.
She posted the two photos on her social media with the caption: “Feast time! The main dishes tonight are the chickens and ducks personally roasted by my dad. Don’t be too envious~ Happy Dragon Boat Festival, everyone! I’m diving in first~”
After sufficiently racking up envy, she put down her phone.
Father Su picked up the mulberry wine in front of him and smiled warmly, saying, “Our family is finally complete this year, and a new life is on its way. Without much to say, I just hope that our family’s days ahead will be prosperous and everyone will be healthy.”
“Let’s start.” With these words from Mother Su, everyone began to use their chopsticks to eat.
However, Su Mu didn’t immediately start eating; instead, she squinted her eyes and tasted the mulberry wine. This mulberry wine had been brewed when she first returned to her hometown, and after over two months of fermentation, the flavors of the wine and mulberries had melded together.
Because she had added a lot of rock sugar at the time, the wine flavor was light, with a strong fruitiness and sweetness that wasn’t overpowering. After drinking a small cup of the wine, her cheeks turned slightly rosy, but her consciousness was still clear. Her tolerance for alcohol was quite good.
She picked up a piece of roast duck, with skin, meat, and bone still connected, and carefully savored the fruity aroma within the duck meat. Even the gaps in the bones were imbued with a fresh fragrance.
The duck skin was extremely crispy, and when she bit into it, she could hear a satisfying crunch. The duck meat was incredibly tender and juicy.
The sumptuous dinner kept everyone focused on their plates, and only after eating several mouthfuls did they find time to chat.
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
Chen Mengzhi sighed, “Your father’s roast duck could open a restaurant.”
“It’s still a long way off,” Father Su replied with a hearty smile.
“I agree with my sister-in-law. It’s much tastier than the roast duck sold by the uncle from the neighboring village,” Su Mu wholeheartedly supported her sister-in-law’s comment.
Mother Su glanced at her daughter and laughed, “You can say that at home, but don’t let that uncle hear you. Otherwise, he’ll challenge your dad again.”
This statement piqued the curiosity of Su Chen and the others. It seemed that there was an unknown story between Dad and the roast duck uncle?
Mother Su picked up a piece of roast chicken and slowly began to recount the story from back then.
In those days, resources were extremely scarce. One elder in the village lost his wife and children and was left all alone. Father Su took on the responsibility of supporting him in his old age due to the help he had provided to the Su family before. The old man had a nephew, who was the roast duck uncle now.
The old man had a skill for making roast duck, and because of the kindness shown by these two young people, he passed on this skill to them. Both of them learned together, but Father Su had a better grasp of seasoning and cooking time, earning praise from the old man.
During those times, ducks were a rare commodity, and the roast duck uncle always felt that a direct competition was too hasty. As times got better and his family didn’t mind using a few ducks, he frequently challenged Father Su to compare their skills. Initially, Father Su was willing to compete, but as the challenges became more frequent, he secretly added some water to his roast duck to avoid wasting time. He admitted that his skill couldn’t match up.
Only then did the roast duck uncle return to the village with a beaming smile and start making roast ducks to sell.
Su Mu listened to the story and burst into laughter. She had always thought that the roast duck uncle was an honest person; she hadn’t expected him to be so competitive.
“So when I used to buy roast duck from him, he always gave me extra duck wings to gnaw on. I used to think he found me cute and clever, but it turns out it was all because of Dad’s face, right?”
Upon hearing this, Mother Su burst into laughter until tears streamed down her face. She patted her daughter’s back and said, “You really have no shame, and you’re still cute and clever.”
Su Mu struck a playful pose and said, “Isn’t this cute and clever?”
Everyone burst into laughter together.
After dinner, they cleaned up the table and kitchen, and Su Mu returned to her room. She opened her messaging app and found numerous messages waiting for her.
At the very top was Wei Liu’s message: “The roast duck killed me!”
Next was He Fu’s message: “I want to eat!”
Tang Hui also subtly expressed his desire to taste the roast duck.
Chen Guo sent a few exclamation marks and mentioned that she must find time to visit Su family.
Gu Shi’s message was at the bottom, indicating that he was the first to send a message: “Wishing you a happy Dragon Boat Festival. Uncle’s skill is truly amazing. I miss you.”
When Su Mu reached the last three words, her heart couldn’t help but race, and her cheeks turned red. This guy used to be as distant as an iceberg when it came to expressing his feelings. Now, he seemed to have become eloquent, daring to say anything romantic.
Contrary to that, she didn’t know how to respond. She frowned in thought for a long time and finally sent a few dry words: “The roast duck is delicious. I had a great day today. How about you?”
Thingyan: Damn Shishi, you learned to flirt now huh?