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Old 11-21-2005, 04:58 PM   #1
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Question Help Needed with Thai Soup Broth

Gday all, seeking some assistance with identifying a soup broth that I had recently in a Thai restaurant. It was in a roasted duck noodle soup (did not list the thai name of it unfourtunately), the soup consisted simply of the roasted duck, rice noodles and the broth, thats it no garnishes or anything.

The broth itself is what I'm after. It was a clear red-brown colour, fairly sweet (not sour as well though) but lacking the flavourings that are typically thai (that is, fish sauce, kaffir lime, coriander, chilli etc etc).

Whether it is traditional I am unsure, however the restaurant is strictly a thai joint, not a mix and match asian cuisine so it could be. The one thing I could think of that could lend that sort of flavour is hoi sin, which is not traditionally thai.

Anyhow help me out people, throw around some ideas! Thanks.

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Old 11-21-2005, 05:07 PM   #2
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Hoisin (or hoisin-type) sauce is used in Thai and Viet cooking, too, but usually more as a condiment (dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls, etc.). That could be it. Did it have that bean paste taste?

Tamarind could make it both a bit sweet and reddish brown in color ....
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Old 11-23-2005, 06:47 AM   #3
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Hi Haggis,

I think I know what you are referring to. It's a soup-based dish served with steaming broth with your choice of noodles and your choice of duck/chicken meat, fishballs, squidballs, and assorted vegetables and what not. This soup is a popular street food and is usually hawked from mobile food carts equipped with stoves, huge stockpots, and various meats and vegetables in glass display cases. You can also find it in the food courts of malls here. The reason the dish doesn't have the usual Thai taste is because it's of Chinese origin. (Many Thais today are part-Chinese.) You'll actually find much better versions of this dish in Chinese teahouses. The best version I've tasted was in Hongkong. The authentic Chinese broth normally has star anise as a key ingredient and one must use excellent beef/chicken stock. Hope this helped.
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Old 11-23-2005, 02:53 PM   #4
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I tried to emulate the broth a few days ago just by experimenting, it turned quite close to what I remember, and even if it wasn't it was delicious anyway.

I added the star anise because I thought the broth may have been Chinese in origin (thanks for the confirmation I was on the right path Chopstix).

Dont remember exact measurements, I just went by taste:
600ml chicken stock
2-3 (who knows?) tbsp hoi sin sauce
some soy sauce
some fish sauce
1 star anise
2 cloves garlic, chopped into chunks
1 half thumb sized piece of ginger, cut into slices
bit of brown sugar and white sugar (used a bit of both since I didn't know which one would give the desired effect)


I brought the stock, star anise, garlic and ginger to the boil then turned it down to a very low simmer. I added the hoi sin, soy and fish sauce and mixed it thoroughly, tasting to see if it was similar to what I had in the restaurant. I then added a bit of both types of sugar to sweeten it up a bit to bring it in closer in line to what I had previously.

Turned out great!
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Old 12-21-2005, 11:13 AM   #5
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add kaffir lime leaves, corriander root, shalott, and use galangal instead of the ginger, sping onions should be in there as well.don't cook with the fish sauce in it and don't use hoi sin. otherwise do what you are doing.
when you eat this you should add fish sauce to taste along with chilli powder sugar (again don't cook this in to it) and some stuff called nam som which is sliced chillies in rice vinegar. To me it sounds like you have eaten street foof with out the add ons.
this is atraditional thai way of cooking this, in fact it is being cooked in my kitchen right now ....enjoy
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Old 12-21-2005, 05:15 PM   #6
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As I said in my previous post how I made it tasted almost exactly what I had in the restaurant.

The broth I had did not have the flavours of kaffir lime leaves or the distinctive taste of galangal. As I said the broth may not have been traditionally Thai so the addition of these flavours would take it away from what it is meant to be like.
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:48 PM   #7
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oooooooh, sorry but I have just eaten this for supper and the kaffir lime and galangal can hardly be tasted (it's all to do with quantities my dear boy), and it tastes like a plain broth. The Thai taste comes from the additions you make to the soup when eating it.
By the way my wife made this and she is a thai cook, and she would not have used ginger instead of the galangal. But if it tasted Ok the way you made it why not just carry on cooking it that way. If all food was the saame how boring would cooking be?
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