Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Watercress Duck Gizzard Soup (西洋菜鸭肾汤)





Ingredients: A piece of dried orange peel and some pork ribs in addition to the above

If you are wondering what is this "ribbon look-alike" thing in the above picture - it is dried duck gizzard or  鸭肾 (duck kidneys).  I mainly used this for soups, in particular, for making watercress soup.  Adding dried duck gizzards is a traditional Cantonese way of preparing the watercress soup.  Besides adding a very nice flavour to the soup, both my mum and MIL highly recommend this soup for kids - helps to relieve lungs and body heatiness while improves appetite.  In the olden days, there were no multi-vitamins pills as health supplements, so mums will prepare this soup when their kids had poor appetite.  For me, I certainly love the wonderful flavour that the duck gizzards add to the soup.  Alternatively, I used dried cuttlefish which it is more commonly available in our local wet markets.


Another home-cooked traditional soup

Ingredients:
(serves 4)

1 bunch watercress  (西洋菜)
4 pieces pork ribs, around 250g  (排骨)
1 - 2 dried duck gizzards (干鸭肾)
6 - 7 red dates (红枣)
2 honey dates (蜜枣)
A handful apricot kernels (南北杏)
1 piece dried orange peel (果皮)
Small piece of ginger (姜)

Method:
1) Blanch the pork ribs in hot water to remove impurities.  Remove and set aside.
2) Bring a pot of water to boil (about 1.8 litre).  When the water starts boiling, add in all the ingredients.  Let it boil for 5 minutes and then simmer over low heat for 90 minutes.  Add salt to taste.


NOTE:
I divided my watercress to two portions - the stalk and the leafy portions.  I added the stalk portion at the beginning and only added the leafy portion at the last 15 minutes of cooking without covering with a lid.  I was trying to retain the nice green colour of the leaves.  MISTAKE!  There is a slight bitter aftertaste in the soup from the watercress.  I recalled the old-time advice to add the watercress while the water is boiling (mine was simmering as it was already into the last 15 minutes of cooking), else there will be a bitter aftertaste in the soup!

OK, lesson learnt:
 - add the watercress while water is boiling.  
 - let it boil for a while before lowering the heat to let it simmer.
  







9 comments:

  1. Ohh.. duck gizzards. I've never heard of using this in soups. I'll try this if I ever see some.

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  2. I think is Cantonese style cos I do not see this used for outside soup too!

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  3. This is interesting. I have not tried adding duck gizzards too :) Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Dried duck gizzard has a waxy kind of smell before cooking. Yet, after cooking, it will add a nice aroma to the soup. Very much like the dried cuttlefish or salted fish, strong smell b4 cooking, but strange enough, it taste wonderful after cooking and works miracle!

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  5. Oh, I miss this soup. Mom used to cook this a lot when we were young. :) Thanks for sharing.

    BTW, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving you comment. Much appreciated.

    Amy
    http://utry.it

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  6. Hi Fong,

    Where can I buy the dried duck gizzard ?

    Heard alot of benefits about watercress... must start cooking this for my family. Linda

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  7. I bought ithe dried duck gizzard at Chinatown market.

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  8. Where can I buy dried duck gizzard in San Diego?

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  9. Try to see if you can buy dried duck gizzard from Chinese provision shops or Chinatown. Else, just omit it.

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