Monday, November 21, 2011

Duck Broth with Soba

During the colder months, I tend to make a lot of duck. I don't know why this is, exactly, except that maybe duck just feels a bit more festive than chicken. A big, juicy roast duck, cooked on a bed of potatoes, perhaps, is somehow so much more celebratory than anything you could do with any other bird (including turkey, in my humble opinion). And, really, it's such a perfect traditional meal for, say, a Christmas Eve dinner before a big family movie sit-down on the couch.

Because of this holiday duck habit of mine, I always tend to have a bunch of duck carcasses hanging around the house, with which to make a delicious, savory broth. A quick addition of miso to the broth, and some healthy soba noodles makes for a nutritious, restorative meal to ward off any winter chills and to moderate some of that caloric excess you're undoubtedly taking part in (as you should be). xo

Duck Broth with Soba
From My Father's Daughter, by Gwyneth Paltrow
1 duck carcass
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bunch fresh cilantro
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and crushed
1 yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 pound buckwheat soba noodles
1/3-1/2 cup barley miso
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
1 small bunch enoki mushrooms or bean sprouts (optional)

In a large stockpot, combine the duck carcass with the star anise, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cilantro stems, garlic, ginger, and onion. Cover with cold water (it should take about 2 quarts), bring to a boil, and lower the heat, skimming off any foam that accumulates. Simmer over a low flame for at least 1 hour, up to 2. Strain the broth into a clean pot and keep it warm while you prepare the soba noodles.

Cook the soba noodles according to the package directions, keeping them on the al dente side. When they're cooked, rinse them immediately with cold water to keep them from getting soggy. Meanwhile, whisk 1/3 cup of the miso with a ladleful of broth in a small bowl and return the mixture to the broth. Taste and repeat with more miso if needed, remembering it's easier to ad more than to take it out.

To serve, distribute the soba noodles into four soup bowls. Ladle the broth over them and sprinkle each serving with a tablespoon each of scallions and cilantro and a few enoki mushrooms, if you can find them.


  1. I haven't had soba noodles in so long! Ah, trip to the grocery soon I think is in order. Thank you for sharing this recipe (: