Chinese Steamed Pancakes (for crispy Peking duck)

Chinese Steamed Pancakes (for crispy Peking duck)

You can’t have crispy duck pancakes without the pancakes! I’m here to show you just how easy it is to make Chinese Steamed Pancakes at home.

Making Chinese Steamed Pancakes from scratch

Crispy Duck Pancakes have always been one of the highlights of my meal when eating in a Chinese restaurant. When I visited Beijing back in 2017 we went out of our way to visit a restaurant famous for it’s duck pancakes. Unsurprisingly the duck is cooked to perfection. And, the two sauces served alongside them were nothing like the sweet hoisin sauce found in the UK. The sauces were much more rich and had a deeper flavour. But, it was the wafer thin steamed pancakes we used to delicately wrap the duck which were most impressive.

This recipe won’t produce pancakes as perfect as those I tried in Beijing, but they are ten times better than store bought pancakes. I often find the store bough pancakes quite dusty and dry. These are much softer and slightly chewy in texture. The secret? Well the ingredients are actually quite basic. You just need flour, water and salt. The trick is the method. You must use boiling water during the initial mixing, knead the dough well and then leave it to rest.

Follow these 3 simple steps and you will have delicious Chinese Steamed Pancakes made from scratch in the comfort of your own home!

How are Chinese Steamed Pancakes usually served?

In China these pancakes are usually served with slices of duck. They roast the duck whole in a wood-fired oven, rendering the fat and creating beautifully crisp skin. Traditional accompaniments include sweet bean sauce, spring onions, and julienned cucumber. Other accompaniments that we came across were garlic oil and the hoisin sauce we are more familiar with in the UK. We even had a peanut based sauce in one restaurant. Radishes and even melon were also served. All were delicious!

What if I don’t eat duck?

For those of you following a vegetarian of vegan diet, check out my Vegan Crispy “Duck” Pancakes which are made with mushrooms! The mushrooms are roasted with the same spices you’d use when making Peking duck. They have a rich, earthy flavour and the high heat creates satisfyingly crisp edges.

Magic microwave hack

Not got a steamer? Don’t worry! You can actually make these in the microwave! Just pop them on a plate along with a small dish of water and cook them for 15 seconds, flip and then cook for another 15 seconds. It’s that easy.

Chinese Steamed Pancakes for crispy duck pancakes

The recipe

Chinese Steamed Pancakes for crispy duck pancakes

Chinese Steamed Pancakes

You can't have crispy duck pancakes without the pancakes! I'm here to show you just how easy it is to make Chinese Steamed Pancakes at home.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Ingredient
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 16 pancakes


  • Rolling Pin
  • Steaming basket



  • Sift the flour into a bowl along with the salt, then slowly add in the boiling water while mixing.
  • Knead for 5 minutes until smooth and springy.
  • Wrap the dough in clingfilm and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Once it has rested, knead it again for just 1 minute.
  • Cut the dough into 16 equal balls.
  • Sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and then flatten them into discs.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the first disc into a thin pancake (as thin as you can go). You will need to ensure your surface is coated with flour regularly so it doesn't stick.
  • Brush your steamer with a little oil to prevent the pancake from sticking.
  • Place the first pancake into the steamer over a medium heat and cover with the lid.
  • Roll out your next pancake, place it on top of the first and continue repeating until you have rolled out all of your pancakes.
  • Let the last pancake cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Carefully peel the pancakes apart while still warm.


These pancakes can be stored in the fridge for 2 – 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Chinese Steamed Pancakes for crispy duck pancakes

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Crispy Duck Pancakes make the perfect starter for a Chinese inspired feast. Why not try some of these other delicious recipes.

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For even more inspiration, check out the full Chinese recipe archive.

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