Duck noodle soup
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
|4 packets||Udon noodles, 200g each, precooked; see pantry notes below|
|180 ml||Soy sauce|
|1 Tbsp||Brown sugar|
|8 medium||Bok choy, halved and washed|
|1 sprinkle||Nori, shredded|
|2||Spring onions, chopped|
|1 sprinkle||Japanese seven spices, (shichimi togarashi), see pantry notes below|
- Remove any excess fat from the duck and lightly score the skin. Place the skin side of the duck on a cold frying pan and place it over medium-high heat. Cook for 7 minutes or until skin is golden brown.
- Drain the fat from the frying pan into a small bowl and reserve for later use. Turn the duck and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Rinse noodles under hot water and drain.
- Add water, soy, mirin, sugar, dashi powder, udon noodles, bok choy and 2 Tbsp of the duck fat in a large pot and place it over high heat. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bok choy is soft.
- Divide the udon noodles and bok choy between serving bowls and place sliced duck on top. Pour over the hot soup and garnish with shredded nori, spring onion and Japanese seven spices.
There are dry, pre-cooked and frozen udon noodles in the market which you can use. If you are pressed for time, I suggest using pre-cooked udon noodles, rinsing them well under hot water to remove the packet preservatives. If you are using dry udon you need to cook them first, undercooking them by 2-4 minutes as the noodles will continue to cook in the soup. I use the Sanuki brand of frozen udon noodles because of their firm, chewy texture that doesn’t break during cooking. You can substitute udon noodles with buckwheat or somen (thin rice noodles) but not ramen noodles or egg noodles.
JAPANESE SEVEN SPICES:
Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice mixture typically made of ground red chilli, Japanese pepper (sansho), black and white toasted sesame seeds, nori flakes, orange peel, ground ginger, poppy seeds and hemp seeds. It is great for soup dishes and grilled meat and fish. I love putting it on top of Japanese mayonnaise with some soy sauce for dipping. Available from Asian/Japanese grocers.
When the weather gets cold, I love to cook this dish in a clay hot pot over a portable gas burner on the table. You can cook a hot pot over any gas or regular element but they are not suitable for induction cooktops and cannot go in the oven. Mine is a Japanese clay hot pot called a nabe. You can buy hot pots at Japanese and Asian stores.