I didn’t know that this simple soup, may look complicated to some, would be so popular until so many people have been asking for its recipe. So, I’ve decided to put it into writing to tell you how easy it is to cook it at home. Firstly, you need a courage to ask…why I said that? Nothing is really free but if you ask you have a 50% chance of getting it … I was shy to ask too, but at my favourite roast duck shop I simply ask if I could get leftover duck heads when I bought a roast duck. The shop lady is very nice and she gives me, a regular customer, duck heads and bones for free, by the way some shops charge 50 cent for each duck head – not a big deal.
So, to cut it short, that day I was very lucky, the shop lady gave me a lots and said she had a big roast duck order, normally she doesn’t have that many in the morning. She actually gave me two big bags, about 6-7 duck heads and frames, even though I was asking for only one bag. What a nice lady she was, she made my day!! Couldn’t wait to get home to cook.
Wait … next I had to get two packs of fresh egg noodles and some bok choi (sometimes I use choi sim) to add to my soup.
Got home, I brought a big pot of water to the boil, add the duck heads and bones, add a carrot (cut into four pieces), an onion, one stick of celery (cut into 3-4cm lengths), a few cloves of garlic and salt to taste. When the water starts boiling, after adding the duck bones and vegetables, turn the heat to low and simmer for a couple of hours (if you are in hurry, you can turn to medium heat).
However, if you only have only 2-3 duck heads and frames you have to do something to make you stock tastier. I mean you need a big “makeup” for your soup – you need to add extra ingredients in the stock- a couple of star anises, 1-2 cinnamon sticks, a bit of five spices (optional), few black peppercorns, ½ bulb of garlic, a bit of soy sauce and 1-2 slices of ginger. Those extra ingredients are normally used to make roast duck, so they should help adding the right flavour to your soup.
The rest is easy: blanch the bok choi in salty boiling water for 1-2 minutes and drained (it depends on how soften you want the green leaves to be). Boil the egg noodles until just tenderly soft but not over cooked because you are going to add boiling duck stock to the noodle before served. Add duck meat on top of the noodles soup and garnish with chopped spring onions (optional).
Finally, Bon Appetit! A nice hot roast duck noodle soup is ready. Enjoy!!