Upon entering the Millenium Gates of Chinatown this afternoon we were overwhelmed with the wonderful aromas of Chinatown’s many restaurants. An abundance of options for leisurely dimsum, bakeries, Hong Kong style cafes, the list goes on.
We walked slowly, sampling many delicious treats along our walk until we decided to stop into Foo’s Ho Ho Restaurant on 102 East Pender Street and asked the waiter to serve us a more traditional Chinese meal instead of the typical American style options found on most menus.
Our meal started off with a delicious Hot & Sour Duck and Mushroom soup which was the highlight of our afternoon and the real subject of this article. After much inquiring with our waiter, he happily shared with us the recipe for their famous house entre. We hit the Chinese market then after in search of all the ingredients, all locally grown to try to reproduce this amazing recipe to share with you all today:
HOT & SOUR DUCK & MUSHROOM SOUP
To start you are going to need a slow cooker which, if you don’t already have, they can easily be found at http://www.thebestslowcooker.com where they review many of todays top models. Vancouver’s Chinatown is thriving with markets selling fresh local produce so this is your step two.
Preparation time: 15 Minutes, plus making a homemade vege stock (optional)
Cooking time: 3 hours on LOW, plus 20 mins on HIGH
1.5 ounce dry Asian mushrooms, such as oyster or cloud ear
2 duck legs, about 9 ounces each, skins and fat removed
6 Thai shallots or 3 large French shallots, halved
1 dry red Thai chili, seeded if you like, and halver
1.5 teaspoon sugar
4 cups vege stock or water
2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus extra to taste
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
1 cup bean sprouts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
cilantro leaves or Thai basil leaves to serve
Put the dry mushrooms in a strainer and rins under cold running water to remove any dirt.
Put the duck legs, mushrooms, shallots, chili and sugar in the slow cooker. Pour the stock, fish sauce and lemon juice over, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the cooker with the lid. Cook on LOW 3 hours until the juices from the duck run clear when the thickest part of the meat is pierced with the tip of a sharp knife or skewer. Remove the fuck from the cooker and leave the rest about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the shallots and chili and discard. Put the arrowroot and 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl and stir until smooth, then stir the paste into the cooking liquid. Switch the cooker to HIGH, re-cover and cook 15 minutes until the soup thickens slightly.
When the duck is cool enough to handle, remove all the meat from the bones and cut into thin pieces. When the soup has thickened, return the duck into the cooker with the bean sprouts and stir to heat through. Add a little more fish sauce, lemon juice and salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
This recipe will teleport you right down to Chinatown and give you and your family an authentic Chinese eating experience.
To learn about the history, attractions, restaurants and markets of Vancouver’s Chinatown, visit: http://www.vancouver-chinatown.com/
To find a review of today’s most sought after slow cookers, visit: http://www.thebestslowcooker.com/slow-cooker-reviews/
For more slow cooker recipes, visit: http://www.thebestslowcooker.com/books-recipes/