Monday, August 20, 2012
Thai Duck Noodle Soup
When Ms T asked me if she could make duck soup using chicken stock, this Thai duck noodle soup instantly came to mind. I then realised that she must have been referring to Cantonese-style roast duck noodle soup where the duck is served on top of egg noodles in a chicken broth. The Thai-style version that I've featured in this post uses a stock made using duck bones, galangal, coriander root and some aromatics, and is served with wide rice noodles that I hand-cut to size. Though already tasty on its own, this noodle soup is really best eaten with some tangy, garlicky vinegar chilli sauce that also makes a great dipping sauce for the duck meat.
This dish is absolutely delicious and pretty easy to cook if you can buy (as opposed to make) roast duck from the Chinese restaurant or shop which sells barbecue and roast meats. Then, all that's required is to boil the duck bones to make the stock and serve that with some fresh rice noodles, or egg noodles if you prefer. I highly recommend that you also prepare the vinegar chilli sauce to go with it (recipe below), otherwise you could serve it with some dried chilli flakes instead.
Thai Duck Noodle Soup
1 roast duck (store-bought)
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
8 cloves garlic
3 inch cinnamon bark
2 star anise
2 inch galangal, sliced
6 coriander roots, finely chopped or pounded
1 tbsp black peppercorns, lightly cracked/crushed
2 litres / 8 cups water
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Cheong Chan thick caramel (thick dark soy)
3 tbsp grated palm sugar, or to taste (substitute with rock sugar/white sugar)
Salt to taste
1 kg (2 lb) fresh rice noodles sheets, cut into 1 inch wide strips
1 bunch choy sum or baby bok choy, washed and cut
Coriander leaves, chopped
Vinegar chilli sauce (see recipe below)
Debone the roast duck and set aside the meat from the legs and breast. Slice the meat into bite sized pieces.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot and fry the garlic, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and galangal for 3 minutes until garlic is slightly caramelized. Add coriander root and black peppercorns and fry for 1 minute. Add the duck bones, head, neck, fat (and excess skin) into the pot and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Strain the stock and put the strained stock back in the pot. Bring to a boil again. Add seasoning ingredients and adjust to taste. Then, add the rest of the reserved duck meat and simmer for 15 minutes. Keep the soup warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot/wok of water to the boil and blanch the vegetables. Drain and set aside.
When ready to serve, blanch the rice noodles for about 1 minute or until softened. Drain and place into individual serving bowls along with some vegetables. Ladle some duck soup into the bowls and top with duck meat. Garnish with chopped coriander, scallions and serve with vinegar chilli sauce.
To make vinegar chilli sauce:
Slice 2 long red chillies and pound them with a mortar and pestle with 1-2 cloves garlic and 1/4 tsp salt. Add 3 tbsp chinese rice vinegar and 1/2 tbsp sugar (or to taste) and mix well. Adjust seasoning as desired.