Sichuan Vegetable Duck Soup
This Sichuan vegetable duck soup (四川菜鸭汤) is my mum’s specialty dish. It’s so good, that whenever I see fresh half cut duck available at the supermarket, I consider it my lucky day and will buy it without hesitation to make this soup.
This duck soup is salty, savoury and very appetizing (开胃). After simmering in the crock pot for hours, the soup is really rich and the duck meat is so tender that it just falls off the bones.
It may seem like a straight-forward Chinese soup where you dump everything in the pot to simmer, but the duration of soaking the Sichuan (Szechuan) vegetable can be tricky. The vegetable is preserved in a very salty brine. If you do not soak it prior to using, it will be too salty for consumption.
On the other hand, when over-soaked, the Szechuan veg becomes tasteless and useless for the soup. So my mum’s method and duration of soaking (explained in the printable recipe) is really precise for making this soup a success.
I also followed my mum’s tradition of using a slow cooker (crockpot) to cook this soup. Duck meat takes a longer time to cook than other meats like chicken, so the slow cooker is really useful for this recipe. With the slow cooker, one doesn’t have to spend hours watching the stove and topping up the water constantly.