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Thai Duck Noodle Soup

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Here’s a clever play on old-fashioned chicken noodle soup using duck bones. Cinnamon and star anise are go-to spices for duck, and the broth is perfumed with cilantro and garlic. The stock takes on a deep, rich colour, and the succulent flavour has a nice, sweet finish. There’s a big difference between the taste, texture and cooking time of vermicelli and egg noodles, so make sure you get the right ones. And the fried garlic — a common Thai garnish — is so delicious, you might just end up putting it on your cereal in the morning!

  • Serves:

    4-6

Ingredients

  • 8 cups (2 L) chicken stock
  • leftover bones from the roasted five-spice duck (or from any whole duck), and some of the leftover meat to serve
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely crushed
  • 4 cilantro roots, coarsely crushed
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) soy sauce
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) kecap manis (or Thai dark soy sauce/si-io dam)
  • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) finely grated or chopped palm sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt

To Serve

  • 11 oz. (310 g) fresh or dried thin egg noodles, cooked (follow package instructions)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) finely sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup deep-fried garlic (see below)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) red chili flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. In a stockpot or large saucepan, add the chicken stock and the duck bones. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer, cooking for 1 hour.
  2. On a square of cheesecloth, pile the star anise, cinnamon, garlic, cilantro roots, and peppercorns. Gather into a pouch, and tie it together with some kitchen twine. Add the pouch to the stock, and simmer for another 15 minutes. Fish out the pouch and discard.
  3. Season the stock with the 2 kinds of soy sauce, and the palm sugar and salt.
  4. Divide the noodles, sliced duck, bean sprouts, green onions, and fried garlic among the serving bowls. Pour about 1 cup (250 ml) of the soup into each bowl. Season with chili flakes, if desired.

Deep-Fried Garlic

  1. You’ll need about 2 cups (500 ml) of vegetable oil. We usually fry 10 cloves of garlic at a time to end up with 1/4 to 1/2 cup (60–125 ml). Very thinly slice the garlic. Line a plate with paper towels. In a wok or a medium heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high, heat the oil until it reaches 350F (177C). Add the garlic, and gently stir until the garlic slices are fragrant, light brown, and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider, and drain on the paper towels.
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