It’s winter time and so I’m craving for something hot. Could you imagine the picture of my family sitting in the dining table and waiting for dinner? Then Mom would serve each of us with a very hot bow of Mien mang ngan – Duck and dried bamboo shoots with mung bean threads noodles. This would make our stomach warm for the whole winter, as my Dad joked.
Mien mang ngan is very popular during winter time, especially when Tet is coming. Mien, or you may know as mung bean threads noodles (or glass noodles) is my favorite all the time. As you can see in the above picture, duck plays a main part of this dish, then we also have moc nhi (dried fungus), mang kho (dried bamboo shoots) and of course, green onion and cilantro. To me, steps that take the most time of cooking this dish are to deal with mang kho (dried bamboo shoots). It takes you 4-5 days to complete cooking mang kho. So please plan ahead if you want to try to make this dish. My Mom usually just cooks this dish for Tet when she has a lot of time ^^ …
For me, this is the first time I’ve bought duck in Singapore. I was so excited to go to the supermarket, but then looking at those huge ducks made me a little bit panic. But I was so determined and bought one home. My husband saw me “taking care” of the “baby” duck and laughed: “I thought you bought a small pig home, not a duck lol” … Alright, it’s a little “chubby” duck, but I promise you that this duck is worthy if you try ;)
1. Ingredients: serves 4 -6 people
- Half of a big duck or 1 small duck
- 300 grams Dried bamboo shoots (You can use 1 package of fresh bamboo shoots and skip all the steps to deal with dried bamboo shoots. It would save you tons of time, but it’s a good try to use dried bamboo shoots. I prefer to use
- 50 grams dried fungus
- For the soup:
- About 4 liters water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 Tablespoon chicken broth powder
- Pinch of pepper
- 1 Tablespoon chopped ginger
- ½ cup of chopped green onion
- ¼ cup of chopped cilantro
- 1 package of Mien – Mung bean threads noodles (glass noodles) (about 300 – 400 grams)
- For the dried bamboo shoots, Mien and dried fungus:
- Soak the dried bamboo shoots in cold water 4 – 5 days. Change the water each day. You’ll see that the dried bamboo will rise and become golden brown. Tip: if you cook rice, you can use the water that you use to wash the rice to soak the dried bamboo shoots. It will be faster.
- After that, put all the dried bamboo shoots in a big saucepan. Cover with water and bring it to boil. Simmer for about 7 – 10 minutes. Then pour the water out, and cover the bamboo shoots with new water. Continue the process for 4 -5 times or until the dried bamboo shoots become tender.
- Soak Mien and dried fungus in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and chop dried fungus thinly. If Mien is too long, you can cut them into half.
- For the duck:
- Clean the duck by patting with salt and rinse with cold water. Put duck in a big sauce, cover with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 Tablespoon chopped ginger. Bring it to boil and simmer for about 20 minutes or until you can put the skewer or chopstick through the duck and there’s no bloody water comes out.
- Take the duck out and cool it. Then take a knife to cut the meat and slide it to bite size. Keep duck bones to simmer for the soup later.
- For the soup:
- The duck broth that we’ve just made could include a lot of fat. So take a big spoon and scoop out 3-4 Tablespoon fat to a big sauce pan. Turn the heat on to Med – hi and put the minced shallot in. Stir-fry until shallot golden brown. Add dried bamboo shoots and dried fungus in. Add 2 Tablespoon fish sauce, 1 Tablespoon chicken broth powder and pinch of pepper. Simmer them for about 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of duck broth and duck bones. Bring to boil and taste again. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
- How to serve:
- Bring the soup to boil. Put just enough amount of Mien in the strainer and soak in the hot soup for about 2-3 minutes or until Mien become tender (Don’t overcook Mien).
- Put cooked Mien into a bowl, put duck meat, green onion, and cilantro and pour in hot soup with dried bamboo shoots and fungus.
Please serve and have this dish right away after you pour in the soup. Mien is easy to be overcooked and if you let the dish sits there for only 5 minutes, Mien mang ngan would not be as good as it should be.
Enjoy and stay warm everyone!