If you’re a fan of all Asian Oriental foods then you will love this soup. A combination of the best Chinese, Japanese and Thai ingredients melded together to make a spicy warming meal – hearty enough for a winter’s night and refreshing enough for the summer season.
It’s up to you on how you want to balance the noodle and vegetable ratio – For a more filling result lay in the noodles, for a lighter version less noodle and more green vegetables and broth. It doesn’t require hours of preparation as the combination of spices, meat and vegetables pack a punch of flavour in a relatively short cooking time.
Duck meat adds a moorish fragrant flavour, but you could also substitute for chicken or tofu. If you can get a hold of Japanese scichimi – either scichimi togarashi or naniro togarashi it makes a wonderful garnish. Scichimi is a common Japanese spice mixture containing seven ingredients, otherwise known as ‘seven flavoured chilli pepper’, available at Oriental Asian supermarkets.
Another good thing to remember for Asian cooking is its important to use the right oil. Olive, vegetable, sesame and peanut oil will interfere with the ingredients adding unwanted flavour. Use a flavourless oil such as rapeseed for a clean finish.
1 duck breast
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp hoi sin sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp water
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 red and green chilli
700ml Chicken stock
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp soy sauce
cracked black pepper
Squeeze fresh lime
Vegetables and Noodles:
200g flat udon noodles or rice vermicelli
1 bok choy or 4 baby bok choy
2 spring onion
Nanami Togarashi (optional)
Lime for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 200C. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl along with the duck breast and marinade for a minimum of 10 minutes (and anywhere up to 24 hours depending on how much time you have).
2. Reserve the duck marinade for adding to your soup base, then on a medium heat fry duck, skin side down for roughly 8 – 10 minutes until the skin starts to get crisp. Transfer into oven and cook a further 10 – 15 minutes until tender.
3. Prepare vegetables for the soup. Cut bok choy into mouth sized pieces. Slice spring onion lengthways into long thin pieces. Prepare noodles according to packet instructions. Pick coriander leaves for garnish. Thinly slice some additional red chilli and lime wedges.
4. To make the soup base: Fry garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaves and chilli in a little rapeseed oil for 1 minute. Add chicken stock, reserved marinade, soy sauce, a good squeeze of lime juice and some cracked black pepper. Bring soup to the boil, then turn to simmer for approx 5 minutes. After this time add your bok choy and immediately remove pan from heat. The bok choy will soften in the soup mixture as you prepare the other ingredients.
5. Let the duck breast sit for 5 minutes once out of the oven. Then slice gently into thin pieces.
6. To assemble your soup: divide noodles between 2 bowls. Ladle over the soup and bok choy base (removing kaffir lime leaves). Arrange duck breast on one side, your spring onions of the other. Garnish with coriander, fresh chilli, and an extra lime wedge. Sprinkle with nanami togarashi.