Posts Tagged ‘chinese cooking’

Salted Vegetable Duck Soup

May 15, 2008

This is my favourite soup. No complicated steps just requires patience.

You will notice in most of my instructions, I don’t give exact quantity. Reason being that I find cooking savoury dishes very subjective to the person cooking and/or eating. You can roughly gauge the quantity from the images posted. **if you really need help, you can contact me direct =)

Preparation time: 30 min

Cooking time: 5 Hours ( in pressure cooker) or 7 hours (on stove)

Serves 6 people


  1. Whole Duck, bone separated with skin removed (get the poultry seller to prepare it for you
  2. Ginger
  3. Preserved Mustard Vegetable
  4. Sichuan Preserved Vegetable optional (find out the different types of preserved vegetable here)
  5. Tomatos
  6. Chinese Sour Plum
  7. Chinese Wine


Step 1: Prepare the duck by blanching the duck slightly:pouring hot water over them quickly without soaking, it removes the “duckie smell” from the duck. This method is a traditional method that is being passed down from grandma which I find made a difference to my soup’s taste, however, its effectiveness is debatable.

Step 2: Peel Ginger and smash the ginger slightly to release flavor. I added a bit more ginger then usual as it was raining yesterday, but usually i would recommend like half of what you see.

3) Place bones (bones only not the meaty part/legs) and ginger into the pot to boil. Use just enough water to cover the bones and ginger. Allow to boil for 3 hours in pressure cooker or 5 hours in pot: this process helps thicken the flavor of the broth.

4) While the duck is in the pot, prepare the preserve vegetables. I am using both mustard vage and sichuan vege because i like both kinds and they each add a different kind of flavor to the soup, but using either one be fine. Cut preserve vegetables into thick strips then soak in hot water. Put aside for later use.

Rational behind soaking: The preserve vegetables tend to be very salty, by soaking them release excess salt, if not you may end up with a very salt soup, which might overpower the duck’s flavor.

5) When the broth is done, put in the rest of the meaty parts, Chinese sour plum and the drained preserved vegetables into the soup to boil for another 1(pressure cooker) or 2 hours (pot on stove). Add more hot water if necessary.

**Do not add cold water as it might affect the chemical reaction in the soup. =) Something I learned from a book on soups

*I would usually recommend Japanese plum for cooking as they are more delicate in taste. However, for
Chinese soups or heavy meat, the Chinese plums are more suitable.

6) Your soup should be done and sufficiently flavored after long hours of boiling, sip to try if the flavor is of liking. You can always boil it longer for thicker flavors. Refrain from adding too much salt though, as the preserve vegetable still contain some salt that will continue to flavor the soup. – If really necessary, add before serving.

Once satisfied with the flavor, add in tomatoes for the finishing touch! – Tomatoes should affect the acidity by a little only. Boil for another 15 minutes to cook tomatoes, unless you like well cooked tomatoes, try not to over boil them. Personally, I like them marshy, so i leave them to cook for about 30 min.

7) Your soup is almost done! At this time you can add some Chinese wine (2 table spoon) to add more body to the soup. Bring to boil again and the soup is ready to be served!

Hope you like it!


Yummy, Ah Mah is the best!

May 9, 2008

Ah Mah makes the best Nor Hiang…

Why does Ah mah’s cooking always taste better then mum’s(mum will fume at this comment) even though the recipe and all is the same… WHY?

My Ah mah’s Nor Hiang is legendary, everyone who have tasted cannot help but say, “This is good stuff!”. Amidst of all the new fusion and cuisine we see in food courts and restaurants, i cannot help but take a step back to appreciate the home cooked food of the older generation.

The flavors are simple and basic, but it never fails to conjure up a strong feelings of familiarity and memories of our childhood.

Old Skool…

The next dish that my Grandma would claim as her greatest pride and glory: BAH ZHANG – Glutinous Rice Dumpling! My Ah Mah’s Bah Zhang… is WICKED in every single sense. It is so good that the there are numerous occasion where I get friends coming forward for recipes!

One occasion was a request from a Chef from a Japanese restaurant I parttimed at, Peter-san, lets just say the Bah zhang blew him away.

On another occasion, when i brought the Bah Zhang to my manager, Joseph, at my internship, he requested for more so that he can bring it back to “dissect” and replicate the Bah Zhang with his wife and mother-in-law… Ha~

Quoting my Grandma, “the liao (filling) must be bah bah (really full), then will the bah zhang be moist”… Well i say, ITS LOVE that makes the difference.

Mu Mum said it best, a dish that is made with love for someone will never be boring or bland.

*For receipe, please contact me directly* =)