Quick duck soup with bok choy, ginger, chilli and star anise
Photo by Fiona Anderson
Used in both Asian and European cuisines, duck is easily able to handle robust flavours from earthy root vegetables and bitter greens, to spices and aromatics. From classics such as duck confit to Chinese duck pancakes with hoisin sauce, duck is a supremely versatile ingredient. More often than not, I will simply roast a duck whole, until the meat starts to fall of the bone and pair it with whatever takes my fancy at the time.
|1||Roast duck, whole*|
|3 Ltr||Chicken stock, or duck stock|
|2||Long red chillies, use up to 3, or dried|
|2 pieces||Fresh ginger, 5cm each, peeled and finely sliced into matchsticks|
|1 head||Garlic, peeled and finely sliced|
|5 pieces||Star anise|
|3 stalks||Lemongrass, use fresh lemongrass|
|6||Kaffir lime leaves|
|1 to taste||Fish sauce|
- Heat oven to 200C. Remove legs and breasts from the cooked duck and place them on a baking paper-lined oven tray and set to one side.
- Place stock in a medium-sized pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer.
- Roughly chop chilli and add to the stock (including the seeds) along with half the ginger and garlic, star anise, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Skim away any fat and impurities that rise to the surface and continue to simmer for 5 minutes before increasing heat and bringing the stock back to the boil for 10 minutes or until the volume of the stock has been reduced by one third.
- Reduce heat to a simmer. Bash 2 pieces of the lemongrass with the back of a cook’s knife. Add to the stock along with 4 of the kaffir lime leaves and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Place duck in oven for 5 minutes to heat up.
- Season the soup with fish sauce to taste then strain liquid into another pot, discarding the aromatics. Return soup to a gentle boil. Add remaining ginger and garlic. Finely slice remaining lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf and add to the soup along with the bok choy. Simmer for a further minute before dividing soup and greens between 4 bowls. Remove duck from oven and place 1 piece in each bowl. Finish with spring onions and herbs and serve immediately.
*If time is short buy a whole duck ready roasted from the Chinese grocer or restaurant nearby. If roasting your own duck, cook at 200C until the meat starts to fall off the bone.