Asian-Style Duck Soup

31. August 2009 Duck + Game, Soups, Stocks + Sauces 4

The waiter looked at me funny when I asked for the duck carcass at Peking Duck House during dinner last week. I think he was surprised only because I wasn’t one of his regular customers asking for it. I’m sure they use the duck excess to make other dishes, but the way I see it, I should be able to take the carcass home myself if I paid $40 for their Peking duck.

At home, I was able to salvage a lot of meat from the carcass. I spent the rest of the rainy weekend making stock out of the bones. I made a very hearty soup out of the entire thing using rice vermicelli noodles, but feel free to use udon or soba; just cook according to package instructions. I was able to make several servings of soup with this recipe. I added smoked tofu in one, carrot tops and dried mushrooms in the other and homemade meatballs another time. It was the soup that kept on giving.

For the duck stock:
1 duck carcass from your Peking Duck order, chopped in pieces so they fit in your pot
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
1 bay leaf

For the duck soup:
rice vermicelli
leftover duck meat
baby bok choy, chopped
1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
half a bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small knob of ginger, peeled, grated
fish sauce
light soy sauce
lime juice

1. Make duck stock like you make any stock. Store in plastic containers in the freezer until ready to use. Before eating the duck soup, heat the duck stock in a small pot. Add garlic, cilantro and ginger and let boil to absorb the flavors. Stir in the meat and the baby bok choy for a couple of minutes until the greens wilt.
2. Separately, boil some water to cook the noodles. If using rice vermicelli noodles, you only need to cook them for 15 seconds. Remove from boiling water and add to individual soup bowls before serving.
3. Ladle in flavored duck broth to bowls with noodles. Top with scallions. Drizzle with some soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice to taste.

Related post/s:
Peking Duck House restaurant review from 2002
A version of this soup with somen noodles

4 thoughts on “Asian-Style Duck Soup”

  • 1
    Gregor Samsa on September 4, 2009

    Hmmm. Carcasses. I like them too. Duck, chicken, turkey, Anna Wintour. . .

    Recently I have had a yen for fish heads, especially for the big yellowtail heads I would buy in the Korean market in Osaka. When yellowtail is younger it’s called hamachi. When it’s a full grown adult, it’s called buri and when you throw it in a wok with a bit of sesame oil and nira (“Chinese chives”) it is so yummy.

    So I go into Whole Foods at Columbus Circle in the basement of the Time Warner Building. I ask for some heads of salmon. The guy looks at me like I am asking for his nipples and says they don’t sell them! Do they get headless salmon or do they throw them out?

  • 2
    cia on September 4, 2009

    That’s odd because they sell fish with heads on! He was expecting you to buy the salmon and then you can ask to keep the head on when he cleans it up. Alas, most Whole Foods employees don’t know how to respond when the question is outside their script. I have never seen a whole salmon at Whole Foods though, usually snappers and tuna and trout only. (Speaking of: a friend who was in Alaska on vacation fished for local salmon and had their catch filleted and vacuum-sealed. I got a package this week! I was so grateful.)

    At the Union Square farmers’ market, the fish stand gives away fish heads for free if you ask them nicely and they have them in stock. I’ve done it twice myself.

  • 3
    Carole on September 17, 2009

    What a fantastic idea asking for the duck carcass, because like you say you’re already paying for the meal which can be pricey and you should be entitled to the carcass. This has really given me food for thought. I’m going to start asking for them too now!

    I’ve actually never made duck stock before so I’m looking forward to trying your recipe for it, it certainly sounds delicious and the dish looks amazing.

    I’ll keep popping by as you’ve got some great tips and ideas on your site. Thanks.

  • 4
    avisualperson on September 18, 2009

    this might even be sacreligious to pay for it but you prob know that corner 28 in downtown flushing sells their duck carcasses for $2.50 so if you wanna repeat, there is much duck stock to be had! and plenty of meat and skin as well.

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