Vegetarian Duck Chinese Style

Vegetarian Duck Chinese Style (素鸭)


This vegan/vegetarian duck dish, known in Chinese as sù y, tastes like a special occasion meal but is rather simple to prepare.

Steamed, pan-fried, and braised bean curd skin is stuffed with shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and carrots. When sliced, it looks so much like Chinese roast duck that you might mistake it for the real thing!

Vegetarian New Year’s Eve Recipe

Chinese New Year celebrations were typically the only time families could have pork dishes in the past. It was a dismal occasion if you couldn’t afford meat for your new year’s meal.

This belief has led to a glut of meat and seafood dishes on Chinese New Year menus, including White Cut Chicken, Ti Pang (Braised Pork Shank), Red Cooked Fish, You Bao Shrimp, and Ginger Scallion Lobster. The more, the merrier.

We’ve covered all of those dishes, as you can see! However, it was only this year that I felt it was necessary to include vegan and vegetarian Chinese New Year recipes on my blog.

As a reminder, this “duck” is vegan, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve a place in your Chinese New Year meal.

My mum used to cook it every Chinese New Year. We eat it not because it’s good for vegetarians or us, but because it’s delicious.

This recipe is also a terrific New Year’s Day recipe that can be made ahead of time. There’s no better time to serve this meal than while a lot of other food is being prepared.


This is the first time we’ve used bean curd skin in a dish. You’ll find these products in the refrigerated department of your local Chinese supermarket.

Other versions of Vegetarian Duck, or sù y, have no filling at all and are simply bean curd skins folded up into one large roll.

The variation with stuffing is what I prefer. Making the traditional blend of mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and carrots takes a little more time, but the flavor it adds and the moisture it maintains in the bean curd skin are well worth the extra effort.

I used canned bamboo shoots for this recipe, but fresh bamboo shoots are also an option if available.

Enoki mushrooms and wood ears can also be used. Vegetables that are excessively chunky or heavy in moisture should be avoided.

To get the most out of the large bean curd sheets, it’s a good idea to double this recipe. This will be gone in a jiffy if you have a few good eaters.



  • 2 oz. of dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 oz. of bamboo shoots (thinly julienned)
  • 4 oz. of carrot (thinly julienned)
  • 1 tbsp. of ginger (finely julienned)
  • 3 tbsp. of neutral oil
  • 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tbsp. of light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of vegetarian oyster sauce


  • 4 sheets of bean curd skin( about 24 inches in diameter)
  • 2 tbsp. of vegetarian oyster sauce (mixed with 2 tablespoons/30 ml water)
  • 1 1/4 cups of mushroom soaking water
  • 1 tbsp. of vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp. of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. of sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. of dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. of neutral oil
  • 1 scallion (chopped)


  1. To rehydrate, Shiitake mushrooms should be rinsed and soaked for at least two hours in 2 cups of boiling water. Keep the water they used to bathe in for later use.
  2. Set aside the carrots, bamboo shoots, and ginger once they have been julienned. After soaking the shitake mushrooms, remove the tough stems and slice them very thinly.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of oil to your wok on medium heat. Cook the ginger for 20 seconds after adding it to the pan. Stir-fry the carrots for one minute. Turn increase the heat and cook the mushrooms and bamboo shoots for 2-3 minutes, or until aromatic.
  4. Soy sauce and vegetarian oyster sauce can be added now. When all the liquid has evaporated, remove the pan from the heat. Allow the filling to cool completely after removing it from the wok.
  5. Set your steamer over high heat and bring 12 cups of water to a rolling boil.
  6. Work surface: Lay out a sheet of bean curd on the table. One of the sheets should be lightly brushed with a mixture of vegetarian oyster sauce and water. Add a second layer and brush it with the oyster sauce mixture.
  7. A 7-by-3 inch horizontal rectangle of bean curd filling should be added to one side of the bean curd circle (approximately 5 inches/13 cm from the edge closest to you). Wrap the sheet around the filling securely. Roll tightly until you’ve made a rectangle by folding the ends over the center. Repeat this process with the remaining bean curd skin and filling.
  8. Stack them open-side down on a heat-resistant dish. Steam the rolls for 12 minutes over high heat once the water in your steamer has come to a boil.
  9. During this time, prepare the braising sauce. Mushroom soaking water, 2 teaspoons sugar and 2 vegetarian oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce are all mixed in 1 1/4 cups of the mixture. Remove the pan from the fire and continuously stir in the sugar until it’s completely dissolved.
  10. Take the rolls out of the steamer and set them aside. Medium-high heat in a clean wok/pan is ideal for this. To coat the wok evenly with oil, swirl the oil around the outside of the wok as it heats.
  11. Brown each side for approximately a minute or two on each side of the rolls. When flipping, use a soft touch.
  12. Add the sauce mixture after both sides have browned. Cook for 2 minutes covered, then 2-3 minutes uncovered, on medium heat. Repeat this procedure on the other side of the rolls. Try not to jiggle them around too much! Moving them around will keep them from cracking or falling apart.
  13. Transfer the rolls to a platter and allow them to cool completely once the sauce has reduced (it should coat the rolls but not sit in a pool of sauce).
  14. Slice into 3/4-inch thick slices and top with chopped scallions once they’ve cooled. Depending on your inclination, you can serve this dish either cold or warm.

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