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
3 cloves
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

To serve:
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
Scallions, 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.


Mizzsingbabe said...

Kway chap comes to my mind when i read this... so good

Bakericious said...

though duck is not my favourite but your duck noodle is making me drooling over it.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

My family loves duck and this is such a delicious noodle dish!! I'd drink up the whole soup. Guaranteed!

Mel said...

The soup must be very flavourful with all that spices in (like our hawker stall "Kuey Teow Kear"). Just loves the soup. I think I will cook this soup base one day. Thank you!

Cathleen said...

This looks scrumptious! I haven't had duck in so long, and I have never tried duck soup. YUM!!

Yummy Bakes said...

Looks very delicious to me a non-duck fan!

Judit & Corina @WineDineDaily said...

We do love Duck and this recipe looks delicious!

lena said...

though i cant taste your noodles but looking at your recipe, your soup base sounds very tasty!

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

never had this kind of duck noodles soup before, looking at your picture, i know this must be taste so good.

Jayanthy Kumaran said...

looks irresistably hearty & full of nice texture
Tasty Appetite

Anonymous said...

Can I use roast chicken? Duck is expensive.

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Anonymous: You can use roast chicken but then, the flavours won't be as strong compared to duck. You might want to add some chicken stock if that's the case.

Anonymous said...

Hello i asked about using chicken, I found an asian store that sold roast duck :) and all the other ingredients were very affordable there.

I bought half a roast duck and made this, it tasted like a store bought duck noodle soup!

It fed my husband, my two boys and myself.

The one thing I love about duck noodle soup is that its so tasty, and I never feel guilty after eating it. You feel like youve had a great meal when you eat this.

All the herbs made my house smell nice too. Thank you!

taxigourmet said...

WONDERFUL recipe - the best use of leftover X-mas duck I could possibly imagine. Many, many thanks!

Anonymous said...

The aroma from the broth is absolutely beautiful. I had the siu mei shop cut the duck for me, and then I broiled the meat and skin (I used the bones for the broth)instead of boiling it in the soup so it was nice and crispy.
I couldn't find the caramel sauce, so I used a combination of molasses and brown sugar. From my research, it seems the Cheong Chan is a caramel, so either you could make your own or maybe even use the Jamaican "browning".
Thanks for the great recipe!