Tea-smoked Duck: Everything About This Famous Chinese Dish!

Tea-smoked Duck: Everything About This Famous Chinese Dish!

Tea-smoked duck is a flavorful and aromatic dish that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. With its rich smoky flavor and succulent meat, it is a dish that has been enjoyed in China for centuries and is now popular around the world.

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So, get ready to learn all about Tea-smoked Duck and discover how you can prepare it at home!

What is Tea-smoked Duck?

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Tea-smoked duck is a dish that originates from China and is made by smoking duck meat with tea leaves, rice, and spices.

To prepare the dish, the duck is first marinated in a mixture of spices and then hung to dry.

Next, it is smoked over a wok filled with tea leaves, rice, and other aromatics. The smoking process infuses the meat with a rich smoky flavor and a tender texture, making it a popular and sought-after dish.

Once the smoking process is complete, the duck is usually served with a variety of sides and dipping sauces.

History of Tea-smoked Duck

History of Tea smoked Duck

Tea-smoked duck has a long history that dates back to ancient China, where it was first prepared as a delicacy for the imperial court.

According to legend, the dish was created by a chef who was looking for a way to infuse duck meat with a rich, smoky flavor. He decided to use tea leaves and other aromatic ingredients to smoke the meat, and the result was a dish that was both flavorful and visually stunning.

Over time, tea-smoked duck became a popular dish among the wealthy and the elite in China, and it eventually spread to other parts of the world.

Today, it is a staple of Chinese cuisine and is enjoyed in many different forms, from traditional recipes to modern twists on the classic dish. It is also commonly served at banquets and special occasions, where its rich flavor and elegant presentation make it a crowd-pleaser.

Chinese Name of Tea-smoked Duck

The Chinese name of Tea-smoked Duck is 茶香鸭, pronounced as “chá xiāng yā“.

This name reflects the dish’s signature smoky aroma, which comes from the tea leaves and other aromatic ingredients used in the smoking process. The dish is a beloved part of Chinese culinary tradition and is enjoyed in many different regions throughout the country.

Types of Tea-smoked Duck

Types of Tea smoked Duck

Tea-smoked duck is a versatile dish that can be prepared in many different ways, depending on the specific ingredients and cooking techniques used. Some common types of tea-smoked duck include:

Traditional Tea-smoked Duck

This is the classic version of the dish, which is made by smoking a whole duck over a wok filled with tea leaves, rice, and other spices. The result is a richly flavored and tender meat that is typically served with pancakes or other side dishes.

Tea-smoked Duck Breast

This variation on the classic dish is made by smoking only the duck breast, rather than the whole bird. This allows for a faster cooking time and a more concentrated flavor in the meat.

Tea-smoked Duck Legs

Another variation of the dish, tea-smoked duck legs are prepared by smoking only the legs of the duck. This results in a flavorful and tender meat that is often served with rice or noodles.

Modern Twists on Tea-smoked Duck

Chefs around the world have put their own spin on tea-smoked duck, experimenting with different tea blends and spices to create unique and innovative versions of the dish. Some popular variations include tea-smoked duck tacos, tea-smoked duck salad, and tea-smoked duck pizza.

Tea-smoked Duck Taste & Texture: How Tea-smoked Duck Taste Like?

Tea smoked Duck Taste Texture How Tea smoked Duck Taste Like

Tea-smoked duck has a rich and complex flavor that is both smoky and savory. The tea leaves and other spices used in the smoking process infuse the meat with a subtle, earthy flavor that is enhanced by the tender texture of the meat itself.

The skin of the duck is typically crispy and slightly caramelized from the smoking process, while the meat is tender and juicy. The overall effect is a dish that is both fragrant and flavorful, with a balance of savory and smoky notes that is sure to satisfy any palate.

Tea-smoked duck is often served with a variety of side dishes, such as pancakes or noodles, to help balance out its rich flavor.

Accompaniments & Serving of Tea-smoked Duck

Tea-smoked duck is often served with a variety of accompaniments that help to enhance its rich and complex flavor. Some common serving suggestions for tea-smoked duck include:

  1. Pancakes: Thin, flour-based pancakes are a traditional accompaniment to tea-smoked duck. The duck meat is typically shredded and served with hoisin sauce, scallions, and cucumber, which are wrapped in the pancakes to create a flavorful and satisfying meal.
  2. Noodles: Tea-smoked duck can also be served with a variety of noodle dishes, such as lo mein or chow mein. The rich flavor of the duck pairs well with the savory sauces and tender noodles, creating a hearty and satisfying meal.
  3. Rice: Simple steamed rice is another popular accompaniment to tea-smoked duck. The rice helps to balance out the rich and complex flavors of the duck, while also providing a neutral base for the other flavors to shine.
  4. Vegetables: A side of stir-fried or steamed vegetables, such as bok choy, broccoli, or snow peas, can help to add some freshness and crunch to the meal, while also providing some balance to the rich flavors of the duck.

Overall, the accompaniments and serving suggestions for tea-smoked duck can vary depending on the regional and personal preferences of the chef or diner. However, the key is to find a balance of flavors and textures that complement the rich and complex flavor of the duck without overpowering it.

Variation of Tea-smoked Duck

Variation of Tea smoked Duck

Tea-smoked duck is a traditional Chinese dish that has many regional variations throughout China, as well as modern adaptations that incorporate new ingredients and techniques. Some of the most popular variations of tea-smoked duck include:

  1. Shanghai-style: This variation of tea-smoked duck is typically made by marinating the duck in a mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and spices before smoking it with tea leaves and rice. The resulting duck is juicy and tender, with a slightly sweet and savory flavor.
  2. Sichuan-style: Sichuan-style tea-smoked duck is known for its bold and spicy flavor, which comes from a marinade made with Sichuan peppercorns, chili peppers, and other spices. The duck is smoked with a combination of tea leaves, rice, and sugar, which gives it a slightly sweet and smoky flavor.
  3. Modern variations: In recent years, chefs have experimented with new ingredients and techniques to create modern variations of tea-smoked duck. For example, some chefs use different types of tea leaves or wood chips to add unique flavors to the duck, while others might incorporate fruits, herbs, or other spices into the smoking mixture.

Regardless of the variation, tea-smoked duck is known for its rich and complex flavor, which combines the smokiness of the tea with the tender, juicy meat of the duck. It is a popular dish for special occasions and festive gatherings, and is often served with a variety of flavorful accompaniments.

Ingredients for Tea-smoked Duck

Here are the ingredients typically used in making tea-smoked duck:

  • Whole duck
  • Green tea leaves
  • Rice
  • Brown sugar
  • Star anise
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Sichuan peppercorns
  • Garlic cloves
  • Ginger
  • Scallions
  • Shaoxing wine (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying

Note that the exact amounts of these ingredients may vary depending on the recipe being used.

Tools Required to Prepare Tea-smoked Duck

Here are the tools typically used in making tea-smoked duck:

  • Large wok with lid
  • Bamboo steamer or wire rack
  • Large bowl or container for marinating
  • Kitchen twine
  • Aluminum foil
  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife
  • Large pan or skillet for frying

Again, note that the exact tools required may vary depending on the recipe being used.

Tea-smoked Duck Preparation and Cooking

Here is a general overview of the cooking methods used in making tea-smoked duck:

  1. Marinating: The duck is marinated in a mixture of Shaoxing wine, salt, and pepper for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Smoking: The smoking mixture is prepared by combining green tea leaves, uncooked rice, brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon stick, Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, ginger, and scallions. The mixture is heated in a wok until it starts to smoke.
  3. Cooking: The duck is tied with kitchen twine, then placed on a bamboo steamer or wire rack and put on top of the smoking mixture in the wok. The wok is covered tightly with a lid and the duck is smoked for about 30 minutes. After smoking, the duck is removed from the steamer or rack and cooled.
  4. Frying: The duck is then deep-fried in oil until it becomes crispy and golden brown.
  5. Serving: The tea-smoked duck is typically sliced into pieces and served with steamed buns, hoisin sauce, and scallions.

Note that the exact cooking methods may vary depending on the recipe being used.

Tea-smoked Duck Recipe: How to Make Tea-smoked Duck at Home

Tea smoked Duck Recipe How to Make Tea smoked Duck at Home

Here is a general recipe for preparing tea-smoked duck:


  • 1 whole duck, cleaned and giblets removed
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons black tea leaves
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 dried red chili peppers


  1. To marinate the duck, combine the Sichuan peppercorns, salt, brown sugar, rice wine, and soy sauce in a bowl. Rub the mixture all over the duck, inside and out, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. To smoke the duck, line a wok or large pot with foil and add the tea leaves, rice, sugar, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and chili peppers. Heat the mixture over high heat until it starts to smoke.
  3. Place the duck on a wire rack and place the rack over the smoking mixture. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and smoke the duck for about 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove the duck from the rack and rinse off any excess tea leaves or smoking mixture. Place the duck in a roasting pan and brush it with honey.
  5. Roast the duck in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and golden brown and the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165°F (74°C).
  6. Let the duck rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Note: The smoking process can create a lot of smoke, so be sure to open windows and turn on a fan to help ventilate the kitchen. Additionally, it is important to monitor the smoking mixture carefully to prevent it from burning or catching on fire.

Tips for Making Tea-smoked Duck

Here are some tips for making the perfect tea-smoked duck:

  1. Use high-quality ingredients: Choose fresh duck and high-quality tea leaves for the best flavor.
  2. Marinate the duck: Marinating the duck before smoking it helps to infuse it with flavor and tenderize the meat.
  3. Control the heat: Make sure the smoking mixture is hot enough to create smoke, but not so hot that it burns. Keep the heat on low to moderate, and adjust the heat as needed during the smoking process.
  4. Use a tight-fitting lid: A tight-fitting lid is essential to keep the smoke inside the wok and infuse the duck with flavor.
  5. Let the duck rest: After smoking and frying, let the duck rest for a few minutes to allow the juices to redistribute and the skin to become crispy.
  6. Serve with traditional accompaniments: Tea-smoked duck is traditionally served with steamed buns, hoisin sauce, and scallions. These accompaniments help to balance the smoky flavor of the duck.
  7. Experiment with different spices and seasonings: While the traditional smoking mixture contains green tea leaves, uncooked rice, brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon stick, Sichuan peppercorns, garlic, ginger, and scallions, you can experiment with different spices and seasonings to create your own unique flavor profile.

Tea-smoked Duck Nutrition

Tea-smoked duck is a relatively high-fat dish due to the nature of the meat and the cooking method, which involves smoking the duck. However, it can also be a good source of protein and some nutrients.

A 100-gram serving of tea-smoked duck contains approximately:

  • Calories: 337
  • Protein: 22.5 grams
  • Fat: 27.8 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 772 milligrams

Duck meat is a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. It also contains some essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.

However, it is important to note that duck meat is relatively high in fat, so it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Reheating The Tea-smoked Duck

To reheat tea-smoked duck, you can follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Place the tea-smoked duck on a baking sheet.
  3. Cover the duck with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
  4. Bake the duck for 10-15 minutes, or until it is heated through.
  5. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 5-10 minutes to crisp up the skin.
  6. Once the duck is heated through and the skin is crispy, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

It’s important to note that reheated duck may not have the same texture and flavor as freshly cooked duck, but this method should help to retain the smoky flavor and moistness of the meat.

How to Eat Tea-smoked Duck: The Right Way

To eat tea-smoked duck the right way, you can follow these steps:

  1. Cut the duck into pieces with a sharp knife, separating the meat from the bone.
  2. Arrange the meat on a serving platter or individual plates.
  3. Sprinkle some chopped scallions or cilantro on top for added freshness and flavor.
  4. Serve the tea-smoked duck with steamed rice or Chinese pancakes on the side.
  5. To eat, take a piece of meat and wrap it in a piece of rice or pancake with some scallions or cilantro. Alternatively, you can also eat the duck meat directly with a pair of chopsticks.
  6. Enjoy the rich smoky flavor and tender texture of the tea-smoked duck!

Tea-smoked duck is also often served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and ginger, which can be used to add some tangy and savory notes to the dish.

Where To Eat The Best Tea-smoked Duck?

Where To Eat The Best Tea smoked Duck

Tea-smoked duck is a traditional Chinese dish that is popular in many regions of China, as well as in Chinese restaurants around the world. Some of the best places to eat tea-smoked duck in China include Beijing, Hangzhou, and Suzhou.

In Beijing, the Quanjude Restaurant is a famous spot for tea-smoked duck, while in Hangzhou, Lou Wai Lou is known for its unique take on the dish. In Suzhou, Songhelou is a popular restaurant that serves a delicious tea-smoked duck.

Outside of China, there are many Chinese restaurants that offer tea-smoked duck on their menu. Some of the best places to try it include Hakkasan in London, Lao Sze Chuan in Chicago, and DaDong in New York City.

What is the Price of Tea-smoked Duck?

The price of tea-smoked duck can vary depending on the restaurant or store and the region. In general, it is considered a delicacy and can be more expensive than other types of duck dishes.

Prices can range from around $20 to $50 or more for a whole tea-smoked duck, depending on factors such as the size of the duck and the quality of the ingredients used. It is important to note that prices may vary significantly based on location and other factors.

FAQ for Tea-smoked Duck

What is the difference between tea-smoked duck and regular duck dishes?

Tea-smoked duck is prepared by smoking the duck over tea leaves and other aromatics, which imparts a unique flavor and aroma to the meat. This method of cooking gives the duck a smoky and slightly sweet flavor, making it different from regular duck dishes.

Can I smoke the duck myself at home?

Yes, you can smoke the duck at home using a wok or a smoker. However, it requires some skill and practice to get the flavor and texture just right.

What type of tea is used to smoke the duck?

Traditionally, black tea, such as lapsang souchong, is used to smoke the duck. However, other types of tea, such as green tea or jasmine tea, can also be used to add a different flavor.

Is tea-smoked duck healthy?

Duck, in general, is a good source of protein and nutrients, but it is also high in fat. Tea-smoked duck is a rich and flavorful dish, but it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

What are the best accompaniments for tea-smoked duck?

Tea-smoked duck is often served with hoisin sauce, cucumber slices, scallions, and steamed buns or pancakes. These ingredients are typically used to make small wraps or rolls with the duck meat and add texture and flavor to the dish.

Is tea-smoked duck a traditional Chinese dish?

Yes, tea-smoked duck is a traditional dish from Hunan province in China, where it has been enjoyed for centuries. Today, it is also popular in other parts of China and in many other countries around the world.

Can I use a different type of meat to make tea-smoked dishes?

Yes, other types of meat, such as chicken or pork, can be smoked using the same method with tea leaves and other aromatics. However, the resulting flavor and texture will be different from tea-smoked duck.

How long does it take to smoke a duck?

The cooking time can vary depending on the size of the duck and the heat source used. In general, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to smoke a whole duck. It is important to ensure that the duck is cooked thoroughly before serving.

Is it safe to eat tea-smoked duck during pregnancy?

It is generally safe to eat tea-smoked duck during pregnancy, but it is important to consume it in moderation and to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly. Pregnant women should also be careful about consuming too much fat, sodium, and other potentially harmful ingredients. It is always best to consult with a healthcare provider regarding dietary recommendations during pregnancy.

Can tea-smoked duck be reheated?

Yes, tea-smoked duck can be reheated using an oven or microwave. It is important to ensure that the duck is heated thoroughly to avoid any food safety concerns.

Tea-smoked Duck: One of the Best Chinese Foods in The World

Tea-smoked duck is a delicious and flavorful dish with a rich history and cultural significance. Whether you enjoy it as a main course or appetizer, it is sure to impress with its unique smoky taste and tender texture.

From its traditional preparation methods to modern variations, there are endless ways to enjoy this classic Chinese dish. So, next time you’re looking for a new and exciting culinary adventure, consider trying tea-smoked duck – you won’t be disappointed!

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