Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Peking Duck @ JS Chen's

In Chinese cuisine, there is seldom anything more magnificent than a spectacular peking duck. Though I wouldn't call JS Chen's version spectacular, it still made my stomach very happy.

I went with my parents, so we had to get something palatable for my Indiana-raised dad... which is how we ended up ordering kung pao chicken.

My dad always requires white meat, and thankfully JS was able to oblige. I tasted it, and it was pretty standard kung pao chicken. No more, no less.

My mom and I were enticed by the mayi shangshu (螞蟻上樹) because it's a dish my grandmother has just about perfected. It's glass noodles stir fried with ground pork, spicy bean paste, and scallions. Mayi shangshu, which literally means "ants up a tree," is cleverly named. The ants = ground pork, and the tree = glass noodles. Gotta love the mental pic!

JS's version is, of course, not as good as my grandmother's, but it wasn't half bad. The pork could have used some marinating, and the sauce could have used more sugar, but all in all, this dish was enjoyable.

With our order of peking duck, we also got a free soy sauce chicken. It came with this amazing ginger sauce on the side.

I really liked this - the meat was super tender and drenched in the flavor (but not the salt) of soy sauce. Yumm-o.

And then our peking duck! Peking duck is usually served in three courses: the skin, the meat, and the soup. JS combined the first two. Not a problem, because they didn't skimp on the skin or meat at all! There was plenty to handle.

Look at that spread! Crispy skin, copious duck meat, plum sauce, green onion, and hot steamed buns... what else do you need in life??

The skin was really good.

Hot, crispy, fatty, and plentiful. Just the way I like my duck skin. Han is drooling right now.

Then I made my little peking duck sandwiches.

The steamed buns were awesome - freshly warm, wonderfully fluffy, and slightly sweet. The green onions, though very pretty, should have been cut in thinner slices, because they were difficult to chew. The meat itself was pretty good, but you could tell that the duck must have been sitting dead in the kitchen for a while. It wasn't as fresh as other duck I've had. And as you can tell from the pic, the duck meat was a tad dry. Don't you love the thick layer of fat between the skin and meat, though? I sure do.

My mom's favorite part of peking duck at JS was the soup, and with good reason.

The broth was very flavorful, not too salty or oily, and the additions of cabbage, mushrooms, and glass noodles also gave it a good crunch and texture. Plus, they give you sooo much soup. Wonderful. Great way to end a meal, and to begin another meal when you take the leftovers home!

JS Chen's
3948 Legacy Dr.
Plano, TX 75023
J.S. Chen's on Urbanspoon


  1. I heart duck skin so much. i would make a sandwich with just duck skin. nomnom!

  2. I've never had Peking duck but it sure does look and sound tasty!

  3. pk duck is the best!! thx for the review, and close to home!..but we'll have to work on a rating system us whiteys will understand like the baseline could be pf changs/pei wei at 0 so an authentic place would either get +1 over or -1 under pf/pw ;-)

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