One of the fast foods I love and crave the most is a good Asian style noodle soup. We have a local place at two locations within a 10km radius and if I am hungover, cold, hot, happy, sad or all these combined, I make a beeline and order either the Chinese BBQ Duck Noodle Soup or the Chinese BBQ Pork Noodle Soup. I have the latter if I can’t be bothered dealing with bones, hence the reason I made my version of Chinese BBQ Duck Soup with duck breast. I use a bit of a slow cooked method for this soup as I like to baste the skin multiple times in the Chinese BBQ sauce, but when I say slow cooked it will be on the table in under an hour. Duck usually cooks in minutes but this method gives you the lovely crispy skin and renders all the fat out but rather than be rare in the middle it is evenly cooked all the way through, giving you succulent and tender slices. Paired with a simple, yet tasty broth, delicate Asian mushrooms and a good daily dose of greens, this variation is a whole lot better for you too. It is a winner, winner, duck dinner!

Prep time: 15 Minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

$$ Medium Budget

Serves 4

For the Chinese BBQ Duck:

4 duck breasts, skin on & lightly score the skin only with a sharp knife

1/2 a cup of store bought Chinese BBQ sauce (available at Asian grocers or online)

For the Broth:

5cm piece of ginger, cut into 1/2cm slices

2 whole garlic cloves, bruised with a knife

4 spring onions, halved, green ends reserved for garnish

4 whole Star Anise

1 litre of low sodium chicken stock

500ml of water

1/2 a cup of light soy sauce

1/2 a cup of Shaoxing Wine (available in supermarkets)

1 tbs of sesame oil

For the Veggies:

1 bunch of broccolini, ends trimmed and sliced diagonally

1 bunch of choy sum, rinsed and sliced into 5cm batons

1 punnet of fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 punnet of Shimeji Mushrooms (oyster or enoki would substitute)

4 portions of egg noodles, cooked according to packet instructions

Pea shoots & Spring onion tops sliced diagonally for garnish (you could also use coriander or other Asian herbs)

Chilli oil for drizzling (optional)

Sriracha for drizzling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 125°C. Place the stock, water, soy, shaoxing, spring onions, ginger, garlic, star anise & sesame oil in a large saucepan and bring to the boil with a lid on. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and allow the broth to gently bubble away and infuse with all of those glorious aromatics. Your kitchen will smell heavenly…..

To make the Chinese BBQ Duck, heat a good, heavy based frypan (I find stainless steel works best with duck skin) until nice and hot. Place the lightly scored duck breasts, skin side down in the pan and allow to fry for 5 minutes. Do not use any oil, the fat in the duck will render out and give you the oil needed to get a nice crispy skin. Turn the breasts over after 5 minutes and fry the under side for 1 minute. Remove the duck breast from the pan and place on a lined baking tray. Don’t throw away the duck fat, pour it through a strainer and pop it in a jar in the fridge for the most amazing Duck fat Potatoes, this stuff is liquid gold. Baste the skin of the duck breast with a generous layer of Chinese BBQ Sauce and place in the oven. Baste the skin every 15 minutes with more sauce and remove the duck form the oven after 45 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing on the diagonal, following the score lines in the skin.

Just before serving the soup, blanch the vegetables in a bowl of boiling water for 2 minutes to slightly tenderise and then drain. I don’t bother cooking the mushrooms as they will cook in the soup broth.

Place the pea shoots and spring onion in a bowl of iced water for maximum freshness and crunch and drain before serving.

To serve the Chinese BBQ Duck Soup, divide cooked noodles between 4 deep bowls. Arrange the greens and mushrooms in little piles and then place slices of duck breast in a fan like fashion. Ladle over the broth and drizzle over sriracha & chilli oil if that is your preference, you could also give it another drizzle of sesame oil. Top with the crunchy pea shoot & spring onion garnish and serve.

If you liked the slow roasted duck method, you may like to cook this…..

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