4 Chinese Duck Soup Recipes

> Chinese duck soup

Chinese duck soup are not as common although always welcomed. This article presents four recipes. One is a festive dish and three 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).

The next three recipes here are great recipes for leftover duck especially after a great roast duck feast.

The first one is a Peking-style duck breast soup. It is a great soup starter, a nice warm brothy dish. It is light yet full flavoured, opening up the palate for what is to come. 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.

Recipe 1. Chinese duck 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


  1. Remove the skin and fats surrounding the duck breast, dice finely
  2. Shred the Chinese or napa cabbage
  3. Gently heat the cooking oil in a large saucepan
  4. Add the garlic and lightly fry for a while before adding the ground star anise
  5. Add the chicken stock to the sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil
  6. Add the diced duck, shredded cabbage, rice wine, and soy sauce
  7. Simmer on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the meat is cooked and the cabbage is soft
  8. 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
  9. Add the toasted sesame seeds into the soup pot together with chopped parsley
  10. Serve warm

The next 2 recipes are congee recipes.

Duck rice 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. 

Recipe 2. Duck brown rice porridge with taro

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)
  • 20g ginger
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 8 cups of soup stock
  • Salt and pepper

Directions (for rice cooker)

  1. 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.
  2. Wash and julienne the ginger
  3. Chop the duck into smaller pieces or remove the meat from the bigger bones
  4. Heat the cooking oil in a wok, fry the taro till it is done
  5. Drain and put aside
  6. Wash and soak the brown rice for 1 hour
  7. Place the rice in a rice cooker and add the soup stock and taro
  8. When the porridge is done, add the duck pieces and cook a further 20 minutes
  9. Add the salt and pepper
  10. Sprinkle the ginger before serving

Recipe 3. Simple Duck Congee


  • 225g roast duck
  • 6 cups of water
  • 3 cups of cooked rice
  • 1 tbsp ginger, julienned
  • 1 tbsp celery, minced
  • 1 stalk of spring onion, julienned
  • Salt, pepper and sesame seed oil to taste


  1. Slice the roast duck into thin pieces
  2. Place the water and cooked rice in a deep pot and bring it to a boil
  3. Break up any lumps by stirring while the pot comes to a boil
  4. Add the duck slices and ginger. Cook for another 5 minutes
  5. Add the seasonings to taste.
  6. Serve the congee and garnish with celery and spring onion

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.

Recipe 4. Salted vegetable duck soup

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


  1. Clean the duck and cut into small pieces
  2. Wash and soak the salted vegetable for 10 minutes
  3. Slice into thin strips
  4. Quarter the tomato and halve the sour plums
  5. Heat the cooking oil in a pot
  6. Fry the ginger pieces for a few minutes
  7. Add the duck pieces and fry for a few minutes
  8. Add the stock
  9. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes
  10. Add the salted vegetable, tomato and sour plums
  11. Simmer for another 20 minutes or till the duck's meat is falling off the bone
  12. Serve

I found a really good cooking video of the dish by the Meatmen and am sharing it here.

Happy Souping, Phoebe

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