Recently, the boys and I had a hankering for Chinese food. We were looking for takeout, which eliminated our usual spot, Emperor’s Palace, but I remembered Steve Barnes doing a review a couple of months ago for a spot on Central Avenue. After a quick check on their menu and confirmation that they offered Peking Duck, I placed an order. You remember how the Lilly boys like their Peking Duck, don’t you? It’s kind of their go-to dish when ordering Chinese and at this point, they’ve sampled it in 4 states in 3 countries, which is pretty cool if you ask me. Despite all that experience, what we got from the new incarnation of Ocean Palace was a first…
When I arrived to pick up our meal, things weren’t quite ready. As I waited for our order to be complete, I was asked a question I had never before been asked – “Would you like the bones from the duck?” Hell, yes, I would! I’m all about making stock and I immediately knew exactly what I would do with the carcass from our bird – duck noodle soup! I tossed the bones in a pot and covered them with water and set them on a low temperature on the stove. I usually put onions and carrots in my stock, but for this, I really wanted to extract as much pure duck flavor as possible, so I left it unadulterated. After about 14 hours, I strained the stock and refrigerated it for another day.
On soup day I heated up the stock which, surprisingly enough, had very little visible fat and got busy slicing and chopping vegetables. My veggie share this week contained some gorgeous shiitaki mushrooms and baby bok choy which were the perfect additions to my soup, along with a package of rice noodles. I seasoned with soy sauce and, when my son demanded meat for the soup (as if the love I put in wasn’t enough?!) , I stir fried some thin slices of beef in sesame oil to add to the pot. I was a little nervous about how my half-assed version of hot-pot would be received, but the guys went gangbusters on it and I was rewarded for my efforts with a “it’s not bad, Mom” as they slurped it up. Success!
As for the rest of the original meal, the food was terrific. Looks like we have a new takeout spot.