I have been committed to the perfection of this Peking duck-inspired ground duck meatloaf for a while now. There’s just something about Peking duck. The crispy skin. The hoisin sauce. The pancakes.
While this duck meatloaf doesn’t include those beloved pancakes, it does have all of the flavor reminiscent of your favorite Peking duck. I’ve just translated it to an easier form using ground duck for everyday cooking.
Key technique: making meatloaf
I’m a believer that you can turn most any dish into meatloaf. Just take the easy-to-remember starting ratio for meatballs and meatloaves: one pound of ground meat + one egg + one half cup of breadcrumbs or equivalent. Then add spices and fillings to give your meatloaf its character.
Get inspiration from other recipes. Like turning tacos into this taco meatloaf.
Or take out the Flavor Bible, if you own it. The associations that resonate for me for duck are fruit (apples, cherries, orange) or mushrooms. I can definitely imagine a recipe for ground duck using dried cherries and mushrooms. Or Duck à l’Orange?
Tips and tricks
There are, of course, green onions in this Peking duck-inspired recipe. And a hoisin sauce glaze. And then there are ginger and garlic and a bit of five spice powder that you might not consider classic.
The breadcrumbs and cooked brown rice serve as filler. They work to absorb the juices from the ground duck so the meatloaf is moist but not mushy.
Once you pack the meatloaf mixture into the pan, brush it with a thin layer of vegetable oil to give it a nice crisp top crust. You can serve it as is, or glaze it with more hoisin sauce. Just be sure to let it sit, covered, out of the oven for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
The toasted slivered almonds might not be traditional, but I love the extra crunch they give. You could also top this meatloaf with chopped cucumber, which is a more traditional garnish for Peking duck.
I have been able to find packs of frozen ground duck (12 and 16oz) in the meat section of my regular grocery store.
All poultry is considered white meat based on the myoglobin content in their muscle. However, duck meat has more myoglobin than either chicken or turkey and is definitely dark meat.
It’s all relative. Duck is fattier than either chicken or turkey, which is why it’s more flavorful. But it’s healthier than beef and other red meats. In addition, much of the duck fat is associated with the skin and so you can avoid it if you are trying to cut back on fat.
I served this most recently with extra brown rice and a kohlrabi coleslaw. But I’ve also served it with scallion pancakes and a quick cucumber pickle.
Peking Duck is named after the capital of the People’s Republic of China. Before the pinyin transliteration method was adopted in the 1940s, Beijing was known as Peking.
Both duck recipes involve roasting whole ducks. However, the focus of the Peking duck is on the duck and the crispy skin, whereas Cantonese duck is often stuffed with ginger, green onions, and other spices and flavoring.
Peking Duck is often paired with fruity, red wines to bring out the sweet flavors, but meatloaf to me calls for beer or a martini.
Yes, meatloaf, just like meatballs, freeze and reheat beautifully. Just defrost it in the refrigerator and steam, or wrap it in foil and bake it in the oven.
Peking Duck-Inspired Ground Duck Meatloaf
- 1 ½ pounds ground duck
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup panko or other dried breadcrumbs
- 1 cup cooked brown or white rice
- 3 green onions, chopped plus more for garnish
- ½ celery rib, chopped fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, minced
- ⅓ cup hoisin sauce plus more to glaze the meatloaf, if desired
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon chile paste
- 1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil for brushing the top of meatloaf
- ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Mix all of the ingredients together with a spoon except for the ground duck, vegetable oil, and almonds. Then gently mix in the duck by hand.1 ½ pounds ground duck, 2 eggs, lightly beaten, 1 cup panko or other dried breadcrumbs, 1 cup cooked brown or white rice, 3 green onions, chopped, ½ celery rib, chopped fine, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 inch ginger, minced, ⅓ cup hoisin sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon chile paste, 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- Pack the mixture into a meatloaf pan (ideal because the fat drains down) or shape it into a loaf in a cast iron skillet.
- Brush the top with the vegetable oil.1 tablespoon neutral vegetable oil for brushing the top of meatloaf
- Bake for ~30 minutes, until the internal temperature is 165°F.
- If using the hoisin glaze, brush the glaze on to the top of the meatloaf, and continue baking for 5 minutes.⅓ cup hoisin sauce
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes prior to cutting and serving. Garnish with chopped green onions and the toasted slivered almonds.3 green onions, chopped, ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
If you make this Peking duck-inspired duck meatloaf, or if you want to see more ground duck recipes, please leave a comment and rating here. or share a pic with me on Instagram!
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