Monday, 19 October 2009

At last... a new recipe! Geng jeut with duck and water chesnuts

A thousand apologies for lack of action on the blog of late. Gonna get stuff on here more regularly from now on, errrr, honest.

So to kick things back off here's a recipe for a geng jeut - a Thai, clear & non-spicy soup. It's not one we do at Nahm but is inspired by things i've learnt while working on the soup section there.

I'm a real convert to this type of soup; it's simple and really lets the ingredients speak for themselves. It's Thai but with strong Chinese influences. I've been surprised at home much soy an oyster sauces are used in authentic Thai cooking.
We use light soy a lot at the restaurant.

Thai food has such a wide variety that some dishes seem Indian, others could be easily passed off as Chinese scram. But, no, they're Thai, and such dishes can fit perfectly in to the context of a multi-dish Thai meal.

E.g this clear refreshing soup can, for example, provide the perfect cooling conterfoil to other searingly hot n spicy dishes that might be served at the same time.

Plus it's well tasty and cooks in minutes.

Eat as part of Thai meal or on it's own as a 'light lunch'.

Anyway. The recipe...,

Geng jeut with duck and water chesnuts

Ingredients (serves 2 - 4):
  • about 500ml good quality chicken stock*
  • a duck breast, skin on
  • 5 spice powder
  • light soy sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • pinch white sugar
  • ground white pepper
  • some asian greens e.g choy sum / bok choy / pak choy / spinach leaves - i used baby bok choy
  • a small tin cooked water chesnuts (you could even used cooked fresh ones if you fancy / can find)
  • a handful of oyster mushrooms, or use shitaki or other such 'shroom
  • roasted sesame oil
  • 2 spring onions
  • a few coriander leaves, if you have them.
*N.B it's well worth making your stock here - a few chicken bones (e.g from 2 or 3 legs), simmered slowly for an hour or 2 with few spring onion trimms, slice of ginger, unpeeled garlic clove and if you have them a white peppercorn or 2 is easily done and would be perfect.


  • First cook your duck breast - score the skin, season well with salt and pepper and dust with 5 spice powder
  • Now fry skin side down in a medium heat frying pan (tip: you dont need oil here as so much comes from skin, and if cook on a medium heat it gives time for fat to render out and skin to get crisp). When skin is crisp either flip and put in a 180 oven for 5 mins or cook in pan on all sides for about 5 mins or until just a little bounce to the touch. Put aside to rest.
  • Open and drain tin of water chesnuts, cut them in half to form thinner same shape discs, give them a rinse under running water, cut the green veg into spoon managable sized pieces, tear the oyster mushrooms up a bit if large (or slice if using shitaki or wot not).
  • Put your stock on and bring to simmer. Then season with a glug of oyster, splash of soy pinch of salt, sugar and white pepper. This is to your taste and depends on stock but go lightly - too much soy or oyster can ruin. You're looking for a just salty enough broth with some depth from the oyster and soy. Tasting & adjust until the balance seems right.
  • The rest is easy - add your chesnuts and mushrooms simmer for couple of mins, now add greens and simmer until just tender.
  • To serve slice your duck thinly, slice up some spring onion and divide these between serving bowls.
  • Ladel over steaming soup, mushrooms, chesnuts and greens. Finish with few small drops of sesame oil and, if you like, a sprig of coriander and pinch more white pepper.
There's hundreds of possible variations here - use poached shredded chicken instead of duck, perhaps blanched squid or try stirring in minced pork, plus all sorts of different mushroom-greens combos... etc etc.

Hope you like it. Will follow v.soon with some more recipes and restaurant kitchen diary ramblings!


Lynn said...

I'm glad you're finally back!
My husband and I will be in Malaysia and Thailand in a few weeks - for a month - so I'm going through your archives and noting recommendations...:-)

Andy said...

thanks. check austin bush's food blog for guide of where an what to eat in bkk / thailand. it's amazing. link on side of my page i think

Lynn said...

Thanks, yes, it IS amazing...and so is eatingasia, as it focuses mainly on Malaysia, where we'll be first.I appreciate the recommendation!

vincent said...


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