Making Soup from Roast Chinese Duck
I have no idea where to start. How would I make a tasty soup from one of those Chinese Roast ducks that hang in the windows of restaurants in Chinatown? What would I add - noodles, greens, etc? I am new to Chinese cooking.
Of the many soups with sliced roast duck I have had, my impression was that the duck was mostly a meat ingredient added to soup made with another stock; pork and chicken. It is tender as is and only requires a slight warming through. Most of these large soups I've seen were composed dishes where a soup stock is garnished and enriched with a number of ingredients. The harmony of the garnish is essential, not too much or too little of each; a good amount of al dente chinese noodles, green onions, a few slices of mushrooms, even a shrimp or two make for a delicious meal in itself that seems to me very Hong Kong as well as Southeast Asian in habit
First off, ask for your duck whole and not cut up. When you get it home, cut the meat and skin off the carcass. It may surprise you that there's so little on the duck. The carcass, together with the head and feet (if included) are the basis of your stock which should be simmered with water and whatever flavors you want to add. Because the roast duck is usually fairly heavily seasoned, I usually don't add anything.
Once you have your stock, decide what you want in your soup. I made a soup with stir-fried celery cabbage, some cellophane noodles and black mushrooms (reconstituted if dried), and added some of the duck meat. It was wonderful. You can vary the vegetables, depending on what's available in your area. Water spinach is a big favorite in our home, so is yu choy. You can use wheat or rice noodles if that's what you prefer, either would make the soup more substantial. Or you could add rice to make duck jook, also delicious.
Whatever you do, do NOT add the little container of dark liquid often packed in with the duck to your stock. It is very salty (mostly soy sauce, I think) and will throw off the flavors completely.
The sauce and duck bones are well seasoned and can be salty (not soy but lots of salt and spices) you can thin out the salt by adding low salt chicken broth, but using container of duck droppings will add duck flavor and you thin out the saltyness of the broth.
You can aalos added green onion, some ginger and other vegetables and if you have time and desire a lot of broth you can add a chunk of little pork.
If you use the carcass and the skin, you should get enough flavor without adding chicken broth. I don't think making duck broth is any different from making chicken broth from the carcass. Just add the carcass, aromatic veggies, seasonings (ginger, scallions, white pepper, whatever), water and simmer for hours. When done, drain w/ fine strainer. Refrigerate and skim the fat.