I walked into the Asian market only needing some tofu but walked out with over $80 of groceries and a whole roast duck. $1.28/lb white peaches, heck yeah! 99c/lb bok choy, yeah I need that too. Whoa, fish sauce is on sale?! Well, I still have some at home but it doesn’t hurt to have a backup right? As for the tofu I needed? Well, I got 2 shapes of deep fried tofu, a pack of pressed, firm, and silken. I had to restrain myself from those damn cute tofu knots.
The roast duck, which was also on sale so how could I not get it, was the highlight of the trip. I brushed the sweet plum sauce on the skin and reheated it in the toaster oven to restore the skin to its original crispness. I asked to keep the head and neck so I could turn it into duck stock. Then, putting that 99c bok choy to good use, I added it to the stock for a simple but perfect lunch - somen, roast duck, bok choy, in a simple duck soup. It's comfort food, Chinese style.
Simple Roast Duck Stock
1 roast duck head and neck and other bony pieces from the duck
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and washed
2 thin slices of fresh ginger
3 green onions, roughly chopped
6 C water
salt and white pepper
Cover the mushrooms with some hot water for 5 minutes, then rinse them under running water to wash off any dirt hiding in the mushroom gills.
Rinse the duck pieces with some cold running water.
Put everything in a large saucepan and simmer for 2 – 3 hours and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Season with salt and pepper.
Duck Noodle Soup
Noodles of choice, I chose somen (I do 2 - 3oz. for a serving)
1 bok choy per person, leaves separated and washed, sliced lengthwise
If the roast duck came with a sweet, honey colored sauce, brush some of that on the skin. If not, thin some plum sauce or honey with a small amount of water and brush that on the skin. Depending on how hot the broiler element gets in your oven or toaster oven, you can either bake at 450 for 5 – 10 minutes or use the broiler for 5 – 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the duck so it doesn’t burn. My toaster oven broiler is relatively weak, so I reheated the duck using the broil function.
Cook your noodle of choice according to package instructions. Rinse under cold water, drain, divide, into bowls and set aside.
Bring the duck soup to a simmer, add the bok choy and cover, cook for about 1 – 2 minutes. You want the bok choy to be crunchy. Make sure it doesn’t turn translucent because that means it’s overcooked.
Pour the soup on the noodles, add the bok choy and duck on top.