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Vegetarian duck – How to make vegan mock duck/goose

Vegetarian duck is a delicious vegetarian dish popular, especially during Chinese New Year and other special occasions. It is also a regular meal for many Chinese Buddhists who are vegetarian. Since it is surprisingly easy to make, it is also featured on the menu of Chinese restaurants and, of course, is served regularly at Buddist temple.

Although some vegetarian mock meats are made with seitan, which contains wheat protein, this recipe is prepared with beancurd skin. It is gluten-free compared with other mock meat, an excellent alternative to protein sauce for people sensitive to wheat gluten.

This dish is called vegetarian duck (or vegetarian goose) because the look resembles a roast duck. However, you may think it is real if you look at the image below.

You need only a large sheet of fresh beancurd skin and some common seasoning in the kitchen pantry.

The beancurd skin will puff up and nicely brown while deep-frying, creating a look and texture similar to real meat. It is also referred to as crispy mock duck or vegetarian roast goose. 

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Vegetarian duck / mock roast goose vegan recipe. Taste and looks, with meat texture. Great gluten-free protein sauce.

This article will explain how to make the delicious vegan mock duck with beancurd skin step-by-step.

The recipe has three parts. The first part is to prepare a sauce. The second part is to apply the sauce to the beancurd skin, and the final part is to deep-fry the bean curd skin.

1. Prepare the sauce for vegetarian duck

Beancurd skin is quite dry and can absorb any seasoning applied to it. Hence, we will prepare a sauce to be applied to the beancurd skin before deep frying.

  1. Add the following ingredients into a mixing bowl: light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce (an oyster extract), some salt, ground white pepper, and half a cup of water. You do not need corn starch to thicken the sauce like other Chinese recipes, as we are not stir-frying it. You can also add some hoisin sauce if you like the taste.
  2. Give it a mix, and then heat it over medium heat in a microwave oven to dissolve the sugar.

2. Apply the sauce to the beancurd skin

  1. Get a sheet of the beancurd skin. Open it, then cut it into four smaller sheets. Each part should be slightly larger than an A4 paper.
  2. I use two small sheets to make one vegetable duck meat. Keep the other two aside, preferably covered or in a plastic bag to prevent them from drying.
  3. Use the beancurd skin with a better presentation, without tearing as the bottom layer, and the other that is not so perfect as the top layer.
  4. Apply the sauce we made just now with a brush onto the first layer generously. The beancurd skin will absorb the sauce and become softer.
  5. Place the second sheet on top of the first one, and apply the sauce onto it just like the first sheet. Don’t worry if the sauce does not fully cover the edges. We will apply to these parts later.
  6. Fold both sides of the beancurd skin toward the center, and make sure that the rough edge of the beancurd skin does not protrude out from the side. This step is mainly for better presentation, as we want the vegetarian duck to look good after cooking.
  7. Apply more sauce to those areas that have not been covered so far.
  8. Fold the beancurd skin like closing a book toward the center. Next, apply more sauce, and finally, close the book.
  9. Use two bamboo skewers to pierce through the beancurd skin. The purpose is to ensure they will not open up, as they will puff up quite a lot during deep-frying.
  10. Now put it aside and let it rest for ten minutes before deep-frying. This step is to ensure the beancurd skins have absorbed all the sauce.

Note:

  • It is essential to use fresh bean curd skin (also called tofu sheets) that is soft. You cannot use beancurd skin that is hard and crispy, which is called fu zhu (腐竹), because it will break if you try to fold it. Look for those called 豆腐衣,豆皮, 豆腐皮, and not 腐竹 in Chinese. It is confusing as they are all translated as beancurd skin in English. You can get the staff at the Asian market to help you get the right one.
  • You will expect the beancurd will not absorb some extra liquid, so I suggest applying the sauce on a large tray or a chopping board.
Vegetarian duck / mock roast goose vegan recipe. Taste and looks, with meat texture. Great gluten-free protein sauce.

3. Deep-fry the beancurd skin

  1. Heat some oil in a pan to about 150°C/300°F. You can either use a kitchen thermometer to monitor the temperature or insert a wooden chopstick into the oil. The oil temperature is correct for deep-frying if bubbles are rising from the chopsticks constantly.
  2. Deep fry the first side until golden, then turn to deep-fry the other side. The tofu skin will puff up during the process and form a texture that resembles the real duck and roast goose.
  3. Transfer it to a paper towel to absorb the excess oil when it is done.
  4. Remove the skewers and place them on a cutting board.
  5. Cut it into thick slices, about one-inch length, and you can hear the cracking sound while it is still warm.
  6. Dish out and serve. It is best to serve with steamed rice or cut it into smaller pieces as a substitute for meat for stir-frying.

Note:

  • The temperature for deep-frying should be medium. The tofu skin will turn color quickly and can get burnt easily with high heat.

Other variants of Chinese mock duck recipes

Another vegetarian roast duck variant is prepared using the beancurd skin and the wrapper to wrap some filling, similar to making a giant spring roll.

The ingredients usually consist of mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and carrots. These ingredients are cut into small pieces, seasoned with salt, pepper, soy sauce, and vegetarian oyster sauce, then stir-fry until fragrance. Next, apply the sauce to the beancurd skin as in this recipe, then wrap the filling like closing an envelope.

I prepare the recipe without the filling, as it has a meaty texture closer to the real duck or roast goose.

Other vegetarian recipes that you want to try

Here are some vegetarian dishes for you if you like this mock meat recipe:

  • Buddha’s Delight (Lo Han Jai). Buddha’s delight is a delightful vegetarian dish savored by everyone during the Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year.) Here is the recipe passed down from my mother-in-law.
  • Lotus root stir-fry. If you are a non-Chinese living outside of Asia, you may not have heard of this dish as it is not the main item in most Chinese restaurants. In reality, it is a typical dish cooked in most Chinese families. Give it a try.
Yield: 3 servings

Vegetarian duck - How to make vegan mock duck/goose recipe

vegetarian duck recipe square

Vegetarian duck is a delicious vegetarian dish popular, especially during Chinese New Year and other special occasions.  It is also gluten-free compared with other mock meat. It is an excellent alternative to protein sauce for people sensitive to wheat gluten.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Preparation

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the beancurd skin in a mixing bowl.
  2. Heat it in the microwave oven until hot, then stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
  3. Cut a large piece of beancurd skin to slightly bigger than an A4 paper.
  4. Apply the sauce to one of the beancurd skin thoroughly, then stack the second on top.
  5. Apply the sauce abundantly on the second sheet.
  6. Fold both sides of the beancurd skin toward the center, then apply more sauce to those areas that have not been covered so far.
  7. Fold the beancurd skin like closing a book toward the center. Next, apply more sauce, and finally, close the book.
  8. Use two bamboo skewers to pierce through the beancurd skin. 
  9. Put it aside and let it rest for ten minutes.

Deep-frying

  1. Heat some oil in a pan to about 150°C/300°F. 
  2. Deep fry the first side until golden, then turn to deep-fry the other side. 
  3. Transfer it to a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  4. Remove the skewers.
  5. Cut it into thick slices, about one-inch length, and serve.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 53Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 789mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 23/4/2022

Kuulei

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

Thank you KP for your Vegan Crispy Duck recipe. I have made a similar recipe years ago that was outstanding after eating this dish at a Chinese vegetarian restaurant in Honolulu. I will be using your recipe for a family dinner in two weeks and will let you know what comments I receive after the tasting!

KP Kwan

Monday 25th of April 2022

Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am glad to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.

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