Lemongrass and Oyster Sauce Duck Soup

This is a recipe for a duck soup I made last year. The duck was small and boney and was readily available in the market in Cambodia. They eat a lot of different types of soup so I began regularly thinking out new delicious soups to make. Here’s one of them!

duck soup with oyster sauce

First of all you need a dead duck in the spotlight!!

dead de-feathered duck

Don’t leave the pieces large like I did. In the end I took the pieces out and chopped them small and put them back in!

dead duck chopped up

The shallots, garlic, chillies, whole green pepper and galangal on the far left.

shallots and chilies

Black pepper, star anise and …red ‘I don’t know the name of’ spice (bottom left)

star anise and coriander seeds

star anise and coriander seeds

Bay leaves of course!
bay leaves

Lemongrass and galangal
lemongrass, galangal

Oh, sweet potato, I do love you so….

sweet potato

Oyster Sauce & Lemongrass Duck Soup


1 small duck 1kg-wings, boney part of legs (up to it’s knees), neck, head and upper back cut into 1 inch pieces. Whole breast pressed into butterfly shape (you hear the crunching sound of it’s back breaking the poor dead duck). The lower back is left whole joined with the 2 thighs. It is approx. the size of the piece of butterfly shaped breast except there are 2 drumstick thighs sticking out on each side. (See notes below before proceeding with this step!)

2 large potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

3 small sweet potatoes

2 lemongrass stalks white part only cut into 5 inch pieces and crushed with back of knife

5 shallots peeled whole

½ clove garlic peeled whole

2 inch piece of ginger cut into 1/10 discs

1 inch piece of galangal cut into 1/10 inch thick discs

2 stern anis

4 bay leaves

1 ½ teaspoons of whole coriander

1 teaspoon of whole black pepper

small bunch of green peppercorns

½ teaspoon of red whole unknown spice

2 inch piece of coriander (light brown/caramel colored one that on the end spirals inwards

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

5 tablespoons fish sauce

4 tablespoons light soya sauce

2 heaped teaspoons salt

4 heaped teaspoons sugar


1. Fill a 5 litre pot with water and heat on medium high heat.

2. Cut up the duck as described above (no, don’t! Read notes below first).

3. Add all of the whole spices into the pot.

4. Now add the ginger, shallots, garlic, lemongrass and galangal into the pot.

5. Add the duck and stir. It doesn’t matter if the water has boiled already or not.

6. Cover with lid and let simmer for 15-20 minutes leaving a little gap for steam to escape.

7. Now add the root veggies and potatoes.

8. Add the soya sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, salt and sugar.

9. Let simmer for anything between 40 minutes-1 hour. The longer the better.

10. Serve this light and heart warming dish with a separate bowl of rice.


I cut the duck up in the size you can see in the pictures. Later I realized for this particular dish and because the duck was boney with little meat, it would’ve been better to cut into small pieces from the start. There is a Cambodian dish that is done with the whole chicken being put in the soup and being taken out at the end and sliced up to be served separately.

And finally the soup! As you can see the pieces are far too large!

duck soup with oyster sauce

Categories: Poultry, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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Natalia Maks

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