Braised Duck Soup with Egg Noodles- Mi Vit Tiem

Vietnamese food

Make 6 servings
1 whole duck 5-6 lb or  6 duck legs and 1 chicken carcass for broth or chicken broth
1-1.5 lb fresh thin egg noodle (angle hair size or slightly bigger)
8 large dried shiitake mushroom, wash and soak in warm or cold water about 20 minutes
1 lb of baby bob choy/naba cabbage, cut into 2 in. lenght or half and quarter leghtwise if small baby choy is used, washed and drained well
2-3 green onions-green part, thinly sliced, white part, cut into 1-1.2 in length
A few sprigs of cilantro, coarsely chopped
Pickled green papaya (optional), use green papaya slices in this recipe here instead of ginger
A few small hot Thai chili, whole or sliced
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbs regular soy sauce (Maggie seasoning is used here)
2 Tbs honey or sugar
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp five-spice powder

1/4 tsp each ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg

1/8 ground clove or 2 whole cloves/crushed lightly
3 quarts /12 cups chicken broth or water if make broth with bones.
2 star anise
3 whole cloves or a small piece of dried citrus peel of orange, mandarin, etc.
1 piece of cinnamon (1.5-2 in. length)
1 oz fresh ginger, mashed (about big toe’s size)
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped (optional)
1/2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs  salt
1 Tbs fish sauce

1.  Remove the breast and legs from the duck. Chop the bones into chunky pieces for the broth, and trim the fat for frying.  Poke the legs and breast several times with a sharp skewer and toss well with all marinade ingredients for at least 2-3 hours or overnight, turn occasionally.
2.  Remove soft mushroom, trim the stems, set aside. Save water and stems for broth.Add water into mushroom soaked water  to make enough 3 quarts.  Bring it or chicken broth to a boil.  Add bones and all broth’s ingredients and bring it back to a boil.  If use chicken broth, omit salt, fish sauce and sugar. Turn down the heat to medium low to simmer, covered about 1-1.5 hours.
3.  Place the duck pieces, skin sides down in a large cold pan with the duck fat trim over medium heat to render the fat-no oil needed until deep golden brown about 10 minutes.  
4.  Add the fried duck legs  to the broth.    Continue simmering, covered  about 15 minutes, add the duck breast.  About 15-20 minutes later, check to see if the duck is cooked through and tender- skin soft and pierce easily without pink water come out.  Take them out, cover and keep warm.  Strain, skim the fat and scum, taste and adjust seasoning if needed, cover the broth and keep it gently simmer if serve right away.  If you want more dark color look, lightly brush a scant amount of dark soy sauce on the duck pieces’ skin and sear them a few minutes under the broiler before adding to the bowls (optional).
5.  Before serving, bring the broth to gentle boil.  Bring water in large pot to a boil over high heat.  Blanch the baby choy briefly just when they look wilt, remove and drain well.  You can use the same boiling water for cook noodle.  Bring it back to boil. Separate noodles and use just enough serving amount (1/4 lb for a large serving).   Put the noodle in a shallow strainer and dip into boiling water about 1-2 minutes.  Check by pinch into the noodle they should still yield some bite (not soft all the way through).  They will continue to cook in the hot broth so do not cook them too soft.  Drain briefly. Put into an individual bowl and repeat with the remaining noodles or put all noodles into the boiling water at one time, drain and transfer to bowls.  Chop the ducks legs into bite size or keep they whole, thinly slice the breast and arrange on the top of noodle.  Drop the white onion into the broth.  Bring the broth to a rolling boil.  Ladle over generous amount hot broth with mushroom , white onion.  Sprinkle with ground black pepper, green onion and cilantro.  Serve immediately with pickled green papaya (optional) and hot chili on the side.  

Fresh egg noodle can be find at Asian store and they are freeze well.  Dry egg noodles can be used, just soak them in warm water 20 minutes and cook like fresh noodle.  Check out this homemade egg noodle.
If you do not want to strain the broth, just use a large strainer and lower it down into the broth and ladle the broth from inside it.  The solid will stay outside the strainer.

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