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Nanking Duck Soup



About fifteen years ago I bumped into one of my elementary classmates in the city of Nanking while travelling. I was overjoyed because I have not seen him in more than ten years. He was studying as a post grad at People’s University at the time so he didn’t have a lot of money. But he insisted on taking me out for a meal.

We ended up in a hole in the wall restaurant and he ordered for me. When the food came I was very confused. It looked like we both got the same soup. No sides, just soups for lunch. Hmmm… very interesting.

Well, the soup was divine or I wouldn’t try to recreate it here. This soup also brings a sense of warmth and blissful memory of innocent friendship for me. It is excellent on a drippy and damp winter day.

Name: Nanking Duck Soup

Difficulty: 6 out of 10

Time: 20 mins prep, 1 hr cooking


—BBQ Duck bones, (you can order whole or half duck from Chinese BBQ and save the bones)

—One onion, three cloves of garlic, one tablespoon of shredded ginger, one star anise, one stock of green onion, salt and pepper.

—One bag of tofu sheets, (not to be confused with FuZhu – bean curd sheets)

—One box of dehydrated black mushrooms

—Four leaves of napa cabbage


Before you do anything else boil some water and put the duck bones in with the ginger, onion and star anise. Let it boil and for about 45 mins.

Soak the black mushroom in warm water and watch it grow like magic.


After the duck bones has been boiling for 45 mins, add in shredded tofu sheets and black mushroom. Add Himalayan salt to taste. Let it boil for another 15 mins. Add the cabbage during the last five minutes.


Put soup in large bowls and add low sodium soy sauce, white pepper, sesame oil if desired. Call a friend and say “Wanna come over for some soup?”


This dish is surprisingly filling because the tofu sheets are very nourishing because of the duck bones. You can also try it with a couple drops of Chinese vinegar.

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Cheers and thank you for visiting. Happy wintery days.



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