Posts Tagged ‘salted vegetable’

Some questions related to the Duck Soup

May 15, 2008

Thank you guys for the enthusiasm in my Duck soup!

This post will aim to address some queries from friends with regards to the method used for the soup in my previous posting.

1) Why did I use skinless duck?

Ducks are very fatty birds, with the skin, the soup will turn out very fatty and may also end up being too “ducky” in taste. The fats in meat usually adds stronger smell to the dish, e.g. Lamb fats.

Even without the skin and fats, the broth can still be wholesome from prolong boiling, extract flavors from the bones.

**The amount of fats i ladled out from the soup before adding the salted vegetables**

2) Why separate the meat?

The meat tend to “melt” away after prolong boiling, which spoils the soup’s appeal and texture. Separating the meat helps keep the meat chunky yet tender rather then soggy. Then again, it is at the same time very subjective to the people you are serving the soup to, my dad, for an example likes the meat in his soup really tender.

3) Why do we soak the salted vegetables?

Some other recipes only asked for blanching, however, i prefer soaking as it helps at the later part of the cooking. In many occasion of preparing the duck soup, the salted vegetable’s flavor tend to overpower the duck’s, thus resulting on a very “flat” flavored soup, which longer boiling hours will not help.

In order to prevent the irreversible outcome, i rather use salted vegetables that is less salty and add accordingly later. Furthermore, some brands of salted vegetable tend to be much saltier then other, which becomes very tricky for first timers.

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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

Ingredients:

  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

Preparation:

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!