November 11, 2010

Lemongrass Noodle Bowl With Mock Duck

by IsaChandra

Serves 4

My recent trip to Minneapolis confirmed my deeply held belief that the Twin Cities has the best Vietnamese food in the USA. And the most vegan-friendly, too, with menu items clearly marked at two of my favorite spots, Jasmine 26 and Camdi.

This dish isn’t an attempt to recreate any dish in particular, it was just to satisfy my craving for Vietnamese flavors: Lemongrass, lime, mint, ginger…if matzoh ball soup is Jewish penicillin then this noodle bowl is a flu shot.

Even though I often make my own fake meat, that mock duck in a can is so delicious and endearing (it even has little pin marks for the fake skin, but no ducks were harmed in the process), I have to use it here.

You can pick it up at many Asian markets. If you don’t feel like making the whole soup, the marinated mock duck on its own makes a great meal with some rice and veggies. You can grill it on skewers for a fun change of pace, too. Oh and while you’re at the market, pick up some jarred lemongrass slices, too. That’s what I used here to make things a bit easier, and cheaper, too.

Another thing I love about Vietnamese food is copious amount of herbs and fresh veggies served the meal. Definitely have an herb garden stuffed into your bowl and use which ever fresh veggies you like. Cucumbers, tomato, or whatever you might find on a salad would be appropriate here. I didn’t use any nuts, but a sprinkle of chopped roasted cashew or peanut on the mock duck would work.

I like to use homemade broth and infuse it with aromatics, but you can use bullion if you like. Just try not to make the base too strong, you want all the flavors to shine through.

Two 10 oz cans mock duck (or equivalent amount homemade seitan)
8 oz vermicelli  rice noodles

Marinade:
1/4 cup chopped shallot
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon agave syrup
A few dashes fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or canola oil)
2 tablespoons sliced lemon grass
Juice of one lime

Broth:
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or canola oil)
2 inch nub ginger, thinly sliced (no need to peel)
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups vegetable broth (or equivalent bullion)
6 cups water
Juice of one lime

To serve:
Sriracha hot sauce
Thinly sliced red onion
Thinly sliced red pepper
Lots of fresh mint
Lots of fresh cilantro
Limes wedges
(see other suggestions above)

First prep the marinade. Toss everything into a small food processor (Magic Bullet works perfect) and puree until relatively smooth.

Remove mock duck from the cans and give em a little squeeze over the sink to drain some of the moisture. Place in a bowl and smother in the marinade. Let marinate for about an hour, turning a couple of times to keep everything evenly coated.

Now prepare the broth.

Preheat a stock pot over medium heat. Dry toast the coriander seeds for about 3 minutes, until they’re fragrant and a few shades darker. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute for about 15 minutes. Add the lemongrass, salt, broth and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer for about 30 more minutes, or until everything else is done. When done, strain in a fine mesh strainer (remember to have a large bowl underneath obviously) and return to the pot to keep warm. Squeeze in the juice of a lime.

Now prepare your noodles according to package directions. Once they are ready, drain and rinse under cold water and set aside. It’s okay if they’re at room temp.

In the meantime, this is a good time to prep all your veggies and accoutrement.

Now prepare the mock duck.

Preheat a large pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Drizzle a little peanut oil in the pan. Saute mock duck for about 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Oh, and if you like things spicy, add a big pinch red pepper flakes while sauteing.

Prepare bowls:
Place 1/4 of the noodles into a large bowl. Pour in broth. Tuck fresh herbs and veggies all over. Top with mock duck. Serve with a fork or chopstick and a large spoon.



  • November 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm: Leinana

    I’m a big fan of the mock duck. This looks so delicious AND pretty – what beautiful colors!

  • November 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm: Colleen

    Could you please give the approximate volume of faux meat that the two 10oz cans will yield? I’d like to make a gluten-free version since this looks absolutely delicious and nothing else needs to be adapted, and I’d love to know approximately how much of a meat sub to use in cups. Thanks so much!

  • November 11, 2010 at 6:48 pm: IsaChandra

    Sure! I’d do two cups.

  • November 11, 2010 at 8:28 pm: Jojo

    That looks great, noodles in soup is my favourite! Is there a particular brand of canned mock duck that you like? I’ve tried a couple but I think I’m still searching for a good one.

  • November 11, 2010 at 8:45 pm: IsaChandra

    I really love the green can:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/isachandra/5167381516/

  • November 11, 2010 at 8:49 pm: Taymer

    This is really pretty I love mock duck and love the fake skin on it:)

  • November 11, 2010 at 8:56 pm: Justin

    I just moved to MPLS so your restaurant recommendations are impressively timed! And, of course, this recipe looks amazing.

    Thanks!

  • November 11, 2010 at 9:36 pm: Miki Takata

    Hey, I saw the picture and thought instantly of our dinners together. You know you only live a few hours a way. Hope all is well with you and your kitties. Love lots.

  • November 11, 2010 at 11:00 pm: Bianca- Vegan Crunk

    Mmm…I love new ideas for mock duck! I always just end up throwing it in a stir-fry, but this looks way more fun. God, I love lemongrass.

  • November 12, 2010 at 2:35 am: Zoa

    This looks just wonderful. Okay, now I’m pepped for making the “pin marks” in my own seitan. Somehow I have a problem buying seitan in a can, but I bet I know just how to make it. What if you rolled it out on top of some window-screening material…

  • November 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm: Whitney

    I have some mock duck, I just don’t know what to do with it. So thanks for this!

  • November 13, 2010 at 4:03 am: Melissa

    Looks amazing! I am having trouble finding lemongrass that is not the dried kind in a jar. Any suggestions?

  • November 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm: Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day

    Beautiful! The texture of the duck freaks me out, but what a great thing for people who miss that sort of thing!

  • November 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm: Colleen

    Thanks for the volume suggestion on the not-meat portion. Now I have another use for my big lemongrass bush sitting in its pot by the front door :)

  • November 16, 2010 at 6:34 am: Mo

    Dammit. I swore off gluten from a can in the unfortunate incident of 2009, but I just have to make this! It looks so frickin AMAZING!

  • November 17, 2010 at 11:03 pm: MSP

    MINNEAPOLIS REPRESENT REPRE-SENT-SENT

  • November 30, 2010 at 6:33 am: Allison

    Isa,
    Do you have a mock duck brand or variety preference? We’ve had mock duck from scratch at a local thai place (if your ever in champaign-urbana, Thara Thai is the place), but every time we buy canned mock duck it is disturbingly sweet. We love the texture, but haven’t found a brand that works for us.

  • February 17, 2011 at 1:17 am: Sarah

    I am in love with this recipe! The broth is delicious!! I’ve made it for company and people always want the recipe (even meat eaters!).

  • April 18, 2011 at 8:25 pm: Miranda

    I made this and it was fan-freaking-tastic. http://mirandaobscura.tumblr.com/post/4724153225/mock-duck
    I am in love with mock duck now.

  • May 9, 2011 at 11:01 pm: six

    Mi Kho at Quangs Deli in MPLS is the bomb, start with the spring rolls…this is what i crave when I’m away for two long.

  • June 2, 2011 at 1:48 am: Heather

    I just made this soup last night after a month of dreaming about it. I’ve been a vegetarian for 2 months & was missing meat based Vietnamese soup. Mmm, this soup & the duck are amazing! I’m going to attempt to make cahn chau chay & pho chay shortly. I’ll send photos along.

  • July 10, 2011 at 5:49 am: Tomasina

    This is amazing! I ended up sauteeing some bok choy and throwing it in to add some dark leafy green wonder to the mix. Amazing! I’m thinking of just serving the mock duck in in that LIFE CHANGING marinade with the bok choy when I’m in need of a quicker mock duck fix. Blessings!

  • December 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm: Jill

    Isa, which of the Asian Markets here in Omaha do you buy your mock duck at?

  • January 23, 2012 at 12:28 am: Caren

    Hi Isa! Thanks for the awesome recipe. (I have Veganomicon and cook almost exclusively from it. :))
    I’m usually too busy/lazy to make my own veggie broth, but I should probably start. Would you mind letting me know what you put in yours? Thanks!

  • March 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm: Connie Fletcher

    Hi Isa!! I just read how to grow lemongrass: Get a stalk with the bulb attached, place it in a jar with some water in the bottom, and wait for it to sprout roots, then plant it outside……….harvest, and yum!

  • March 8, 2012 at 11:09 am: Emmy

    I just tried this recipe last night and it was awesome. Loved the mock duck (I used the one in the blue can :D) and the marinade. YUM!!

  • May 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm: Jenna

    Oh my god… SO good!!! This is the first think I’ve made from PPK and I’ll now be trying a lot more recipes! I added some bean sprouts to the veges :)

  • December 16, 2012 at 2:54 am: Katy

    i’ve never had mock duck before. but honestly… the way you described it as looking like real “skin” kind of grossed me out a little… i dont want to feel like im eating an animal. and if it really looks like plucked skin i dont know how i will feel eating it… does it really look like skin?

  • June 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm: Nancy Stein

    What brand name of mock duck did you use and is it found in Asian Markets I assume

    • June 20, 2013 at 3:50 am: IsaChandra

      I can’t really remember, sorry!

  • July 2, 2013 at 6:47 pm: Beata

    This was SO excellent, thank you! One thing, I used soba noodles instead of rice noodles and added sliced mushrooms. Next time I will add some bok choy. This is a truly delicious dinner!

  • July 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm: April

    I picked up a can of Mock Duck a few weeks ago but had no clue what to do with it. Thanks for the inspiration!