Chinese duck soup are not as common although always welcomed. This article presents three recipes. One is a festive dish and two are great leftover duck recipes.
In the Singapore street food scene, duck is most popular braised in fragrant brown stew and served with rice and taro (a Teochew dish) or roasted to crispy perfection and served with white steamed rice (a Cantonese dish).
Chinese duck soup, on the other hand, are not as common although they are always welcomed.
One of the more iconic Chinese duck soups made at home is the salted vegetable duck soup. It is a popular festive dish and it has many recipe variations.
The Nonya (local Straits Chinese) has itek tim which will usually feature 2 types of ginger. This recipe by (Alan Goh of Travelling Foodies is very close to the Nonya style. The Cantonese, Hokkiens and Teochews also have their versions of 咸菜鸭汤 (xian cai ya tang). The Kitchen Tigress has a simpler version handed down by her mum.
Putting variations aside, the must-haves in this dish are fresh duck, salted vegetable (also known as pickled mustard greens), tomato and pickled sour plums.
The recipe presented here offers a twist by frying the duck instead of parboiling it.
1. Salted vegetable duck soup
Salted vegetable in a jar
Salted vegetable duck soup is a home-cooked dish, I rarely see it served in food centres or restaurants. I still remember my late grandmother making a big pot of this duck soup during Chinese New Year so that when my uncles and aunts visit, they can enjoy the tender duck and refreshing soup. Not that my relatives do not like to visit my grandmother, it is just that the elders like to put out their best.
I am not a fan of salted vegetable but this is one dish I will dig in heartily. Sigh...I miss my grandmother.
Half a duck
300g salted vegetable
30ml cooking oil
1 big tomato
2 pickled sour plums
1 head ginger
2 litre soup stock
30ml cooking wine
Clean the duck and cut into small pieces
Wash and soak the salted vegetable for 10 minutes
Slice into thin strips
Quarter the tomato and halve the sour plums
Heat the cooking oil in a pot
Fry the ginger pieces for a few minutes
Add the duck pieces and fry for a few minutes
Add the stock
Bring to a boil and lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes
Add the salted vegetable, tomato and sour plums
Simmer for another 20 minutes or till the duck's meat is falling off the bone
The next two recipes here are great leftover recipes especially after a great roast duck feast.
This Peking-style duck breast soup is a great soup starter. This is a nice warm brothy dish. It makes a wonderful starter because it is light yet full flavoured, opening up the palate for what is to come.
I think this dish is also suitable for leftover roast duck. Do not remove the skin. Slice it really thin and add to the soup. For a heartier soup, add a handful of pearled barley or jasmine rice.
2. Duck breast soup
125g duck breast
225g Chinese cabbage or napa cabbage
850ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Pinch of ground star anise
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Remove the skin and fats surrounding the duck breast, dice finely
Shred the Chinese or napa cabbage
Gently heat the cooking oil in a large saucepan
Add the garlic and lightly fry for a while before adding the ground star anise
Add the chicken stock to the sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil
Add the diced duck, shredded cabbage, rice wine, and soy sauce
Simmer on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the meat is cooked and the cabbage is soft
Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a flat pan on the stovetop or pop into a preheated oven for about 5-10 minutes until fragrant and light golden brown
Add the toasted sesame seeds into the soup pot together with chopped parsley
Duck porridge is a fairly common hawker food found sold in many food centres in Singapore. However, it is quite easy to make when you have leftover roast duck. Here is a recipe which I highly recommend if you have some leftover roast/braised duck.
3. Duck rice porridge
The roasted duck (especially the pieces with bones) can be added earlier when the rice porridge is cooking so that it can flavour the porridge.
200g brown rice
1 cup of rice
150g roasted/braised duck
100g yam or taro root (optional)
2 tablespoon cooking oil
8 cups of soup stock
Salt and pepper
Directions (for rice cooker)
Wash, peel and cut the taro root into small pieces. Be sure to wear gloves as the mucous-like secretion from the taro skin may irritate.
Wash and julienne the ginger
Chop the duck into smaller pieces or remove the meat from the bigger bones
Heat the cooking oil in a wok, fry the taro till it is done
Drain and put aside
Wash and soak the brown rice for 1 hour
Place the rice in a rice cooker and add the soup stock and taro
When the porridge is done, add the duck pieces and cook a further 20 minutes