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!
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Season the stock with the 2 kinds of soy sauce, and the palm sugar and salt.
- 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.
- 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.