Saigon-style Duck Curry Noodle Soup
- legs, thighs and wings from a 2-kilogram duck
- 2 tablespoons duck fat
- 1 yellow onion (two shallots, if you have it), thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3/4 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
- 1 pair kaffir lime leaves thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- fish sauce to taste
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 large handful fresh spinach
- 2 cups coconut milk
To complete the dish
- dried rice noodles (enough for three people) soaked in hot water for 30 minutes then drained
- fresh Thai basil
- muoi ot (Vietnamese Chili Salt)
- fresh lime, calamansi or lemon halved or quartered
- Pat the duck dry with paper towels.
- Heat a heavy frying pan then lay the duck pieces, skin side down, in a single layer. Cook until the skins are browned and fat has been rendered.
- Flip the duck pieces over and sear the opposite sides.
- Lift the duck from the fat, move to a plate and set aside.
- Take two tablespoons of duck fat from the frying pan and pour into a heated pot.
- Saute the onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves with the chili powder, turmeric and coriander until the solids are softened.
- Pour in two cups of water and bring to the boil.
- Drop in the seared duck and season generously with fish sauce.
- Simmer for 20 minutes then drop in the sweet potato wedges and spinach.
- Continue simmering for another 10 minutes then scoop out the duck and set aside.
- Pour the coconut milk into the pot. Taste. Add more fish sauce, if needed. Leave to simmer, covered, while you assemble the bowls.
- Divide the noodles among three bowls.
- Chop the duck through the bone into manageable pieces. Divide among the three bowls.
- Add sweet potato wedges to the noodles and duck in the bowls.
- Ladle in the broth and spinach over the noodles, duck and sweet potatoes.
- Garnish the duck curry noodle soup with sprigs of fresh Thai basil.
- Serve with muoi ot and lime, calamansi or lemon on the side.