Duck Soup with Orange & Soba Noodles

Serves 4

  • 200g soba or rice noodles
  • 4 spring onions, including the green, cut into long shreds
  • 40g cabbage, very finely sliced
  • 100g mange touts
  • ½ thumb of root ginger, peeled and cut into fine slithers
  • ½–1 red chilli, cut into fine slices, with or without seeds, to taste
  • 2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce (slightly less if using stronger Chinese soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 60ml (¾ of a small glass) dry sherry (optional)
  • juice of ½–1 lime
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • duck stock: or
  • 2 duck legs
  • 5 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 8cm unpeeled ginger root, sliced
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
  • dried orange peel (optional; see note)


  1. First make the duck stock. Put the duck legs in a large pan with the rest of the stock ingredients. Cover with 2 litres of cold water and bring just to the boil. Skim off the scum that rises, turn the heat down and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours.
  2. Drain the stock into a large bowl, or another pan, through a colander. Remove the duck legs and allow to cool slightly. Discard the rest of the stock flavourings. Remove the skin from the duck. Take the meat off the legs and pull or cut into medium-sized pieces.
  3. Cook the soba noodles in plenty of boiling, slightly salted water until tender (about 8 minutes). You can also use rice noodles which generally just need soaking in hot water for 10 minutes; follow the instructions on the packet .
  4. Re-heat the stock in a large pan and add all of the other ingredients, apart from the orange and herbs. Bring to the boil over a high heat and allow to bubble away for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the orange and cut the flesh into thin semi-circles. As you do this, make sure you catch all the juice and add this to the pot.
  5. Turn off the heat. Taste the stock and adjust the seasoning if necessary, remembering that you are going to add orange, herbs and meat to the mixture, which will all oomph up the flavour.
  6. Put the noodles into large bowls. Divide the duck between the plates and spoon the hot stock on top, dividing the vegetables as evenly as possible. Place a couple of orange segments on the top of each bowl and scatter over the chopped herbs.


  •  *Orange or clementine peel can be put in a turned-off oven and left to dry out to be stored in an airtight container and used as a flavouring in stocks such as this.
  • *Soba noodles are sold in health food shops and some supermarkets. Made with buckwheat, they have a good nutty flavour and smooth, firm texture.