Who says that you have to make the same type of meals every day? Why not mix it up with something a little more creative, like this delicious Duck & Mushroom Pancakes recipe.

Duck pancakes might seem odd to those of us accustomed to Western cuisine – but they’re surprisingly more common than you’d think.

In mainland China, Peking duck is most commonly served with soft, steamed pancakes. Add in some sliced spring onions, cucumbers, and hoisin sauce, and you’re on your way to re-create this ancient imperial dish.

This recipe adds a more modern, Western twist to the classic.

It’s also been paired with a Musgrave Gin cocktail – the Vanilla Brandy Plum Manhattan. We’ve got the recipe for that cocktail at the bottom of this article as well.

If you’re interested in gin, take a look at our in-depth article on how gin is made. We give you an overview of the distillation process, different types of gin, and even how you can make gin at home!

This duck pancakes recipe serves 4-6 people and is best enjoyed with friends or family.

Duck Pancakes Recipe



Plum sauce:

  • 6 plums, halved and stoned
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar


  • 4 medium duck breasts, skin on
  • 2 tsp five-spice powder
  • Pinch sea salt

Five-spice mushrooms:

  • 250g portabelllini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To serve:

  • 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 spring onions, julienned
  • Fresh coriander
  • Hoisin sauce


The night before:

  1. Rub the flesh of the duck breasts with the five-spice and salt.
  2. Place duck breasts skin-side-up on a rack on top of a tray and refrigerate overnight to marinate and let the skin dry out.

For the pancakes:

  1. Mix the flour and salt in a heatproof bowl.
  2. Pour in the boiling water and mix until a dough forms.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, knead the dough until smooth.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Divide into 18 little balls. Cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Working with two balls at a time – flatten them into little discs.
  7. Brush oil on the surface of one disc.
  8. Then overlay with the other disc.
  9. Roll out the two pieces sandwiched together into 20cm pancakes.
  10. Brush a non-stick frying pan on medium-low heat with a little neutral oil and place one pancake into the pan. After a minute, you should see air pockets begin to form between the two pancakes. Flip the pancake until both sides have faint little golden brown dots on them.
  11. Remove the pancake and, when cool enough to handle, carefully pull the two pancakes apart at the seams.
  12. Place finished pancakes onto a plate and cover with a dishcloth.

For the plum sauce:

  1. Place all the plum sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Mix and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the plums are soft, falling apart easily, and the sauce is thick.
  2. Switch off the heat and, using a stick blender, blend until smooth.
  3. Set aside.

For the duck:

  1. Place the breasts skin-side-down in a cold cast iron frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. As the duck cooks and the fat renders, tilt the pan towards you and spoon out the excess fat.
  3. Cook the duck breasts until the skin is deeply golden brown and crisp – at least 10 minutes.
  4. Turn over and cook for about 3 minutes on the flesh side. To test the doneness of the duck breast, press it with your finger – it should be firm but still springy to the touch. If you have a meat thermometer, it should read 54˚C for rare, 61˚C for medium, and 65˚C for medium/well done. The best cook for these pancakes is medium.
  5. Allow the duck breast to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. In the same pan with a little residual duck fat, fry the mushrooms until golden brown.
  7. Season with five-spice, salt, and pepper.

To assemble the pancakes:

  1. Serve pancakes family-style with sliced duck, five-spice mushrooms, cucumber sticks, plum sauce, hoisin, and fresh coriander.

Musgrave Vanilla Brandy Plum Manhattan Cocktail Recipe

Makes 1 cocktail.

Adjust ingredients as necessary.


  • 50ml Musgrave Vanilla Brandy
  • 25ml sweet red vermouth
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2-3 slices fresh plum for garnish


  1. Combine the brandy, vermouth and bitters in a glass filled with ice.
  2. Stir well (or shake in a cocktail shaker for a slightly weaker drink).
  3. Strain over ice and garnish with fresh plum slices.

Enjoy Your Dinner

And there you go – the perfect dinner, lunch, or afternoon ensemble for any occasion.

Looking for more ‘standard’ pancake recipes? Try our Vegan Pancake or Caramelised Apple Pancake recipes.

Duck & Mushroom Pancakes Recipe Notes

This Duck & Mushroom Pancakes recipe is courtesy of The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association. Check them out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Also, check out our full Recipes Archive.

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