Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Duck Soup

Paul and I really miss Vietnamese food. There is an area of London that is noted for Vietnamese restaurants, but somehow we are never in Shoreditch at dinner time. So I realised that if I wanted pho I was going to have to make it myself.

This isn't a proper pho. It doesn't contain noodles or the table salad of herbs and it's made with duck and chicken stock. It's a faux pho. A faux pho duck. A phuck? But it had the fresh crunchy vegetables, the fragrant broth and the spike of citrus and chilli, so it was a pretty fair substitute.

I blanched a bag of bean shoots and divided them between the bowls, with slices of chilli, the leaves of baby bok choy and wedges of lime. I pulled a tub of home-made chicken stock out of the freezer, simmered it with star anise and cinnamon, and corrected the seasoning with a little sugar and fish sauce, then I added the fleshy stems from the bok choy and some baby corn spears and cooked them for another couple of minutes. I rubbed the skin of a couple of duck breasts with Chinese Five Spice powder and cooked it in a hot pan until crisp on the outside and medium rare in the middle. Then I poured the hot broth over the raw vegetables and topped it with the sliced rested duck breasts. Not a proper pho, but a very good meal.

11 comments:

The Cat's Mother said...

I do like pho. And Darra is handy on a Saturday. Good improvisation.

mscrankypants said...

Duck, soup!

Sorry, bad pun but it's all I have.

You reminded me of the dodgiest, tackiest, most basic Vietnamese place in the underground in Sydney between Wynyard Station and some grotty tunnel to Pitt Street or somewhere. The braised tofu in brown sauce (there's no other way of describing it) was one of the most sublime dishes I've eaten, and everyone eating in had pho by the huge bowlful.

Foodycat said...

Mother - the nearest Vietnamese markets aren't very handy to us.

Cranky - yes! That's the place. We used to eat there often when we were both working near Wynyard. Much better pho than Pasteurs and cheaper too.

kat said...

Oh my hubs would love this! We are lucky to have a ton of Vietnamese places close to us in Mpls.

Johanna said...

I have been to Shoreditch for Vietnamese, it was FANTASTIC!We don't have any Vietnamese restaurants in Greece unfortunately, but I can definitely make the soup.

Foodycat said...

Kat - you are right, that is lucky!

Jo - you'd certainly have all the herbs to make a reasonable approximation!

Justin said...

i guess because we can get pho around here pretty easily, i've never tried making this -- i'm impressed

HH said...

All this talk of Vietnamese I think I a going to have to put a request to go tomorrow when I am due to go out for dinner. It looks great FC, the duck looks wonderfully cooked!

Foodycat said...

Justin - Thanks for stopping by my blog! If you make it yourself do it right; lovely slow-simmered beef broth.

HH - definitely! And have some sugarcane prawns to start.

Debinhawaii said...

Hmm...a big bowl of this would hit the spot right now. I love pho but have never thought of it with duck. Yum!

Sam said...

I've never tried Vietnamese food before but it sounds wonderful, I love those ingredients!

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