Monday, April 20, 2009

Lo Soi Duck

A simple preparation, transformed into a classic treasure by the 'lo soi' which is a stock-sauce or mother sauce, once made, may be kept and used indefinitely, over and over, through the years, replenished by the poultry and . seasonings that are cooked in it. This duck dish has a deep and intense flavor and is an enjoyable meal.

Mother Sauce:

3 pieces of cinnamon sticks - 3" long
3 pieces eight-star anise
3/4 tsp sichuan peppercorns
3/4 tsp whole cloves
2 tsps fennel seeds
1 whole nutmeg
8 pieces licorice root
1 piece fresh ginger - 3" long, lightly smashed
4 pieces galangal 2" long, lightly smashed
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
1 1/2 quarts cold water
2 1/2 cups thick dark soya sauce
1 1/2 cups light soya sauce
1/4 cup Mui Kwai/Rose Wine
1 lb rock sugar

1 duck - 5 pounds or more


To make the mother sauce:
Wrap all the spices, from cinnamon to galangal, in cheesecloth and sew close.
In a large, covered stockpot, bring the water, chicken,spice package and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, leave the lid cracked, and simmer for 3 hours.
Add the soya sauces, rose wine and rock sugar and raise the heat back to high and bring to a boil. Stir to make certain all ingredients are blended and the sugar is dissolved.
The sauce is ready for use.
To cook the duck with the mother sauce:

Place a rack at the bottom of a large pot. Place the duck on the rack. Pour in the mother sauce. The duck should be completely immersed. Cover the pot, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, leave the lid cracked, and simmer for `1 3/4 to 2 hours, turning the duck 2 or 3 times.
Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Allow the duck to rest in the liquid for 30 minutes. Remove the duck, cut into bite-sized pieces and serve warm.

A chicken may be cooked in this as well, with no alteration of the recipe and tofu or hard-boiled eggs can be steeped in this sauce too.


Nathan said...

Umm... I gave you an award on the bottom of todays post in my blog because I enjoy reading your blog and such if you wish you can pick it up but you don't have to I just thought it'd be nice if other s found out about your blog :)


I love red cooked meats :)

Little Corner of Mine said...

Love your presentation! I do love braised tau kwa and eggs too.

For us, nasi lemak for lunch and dinner today. Cucumber is on sales at WalMart. :)

Dyson said...

You have a very nice blog Lily and I really admire all the effot you have put into it. Very often than not I use your recipes for my dishes.
I also love lo soi duck and my mother sauce is more than 15 years old.

Christelle said...

Thanks for sharing, it looks divine!! :)

Anonymous said...

I love duck dishes and will certainly give this a try! However, how do you keep the mother sauce? Freeze it? It seems quite a lot...

Anonymous said...

Do you know how to "recharge" the mother sauce?

Mine doesn't darken chicken wings anymore after the 6th cooking. The liquid has increased slightly due to the meat's liquid leaching out of the raw meat.

Anonymous said...

Do you know how to "recharge" the mother stock sauce?

My chicken wings do not darken anymore after the 6th cooking. The liquid has increased slightly from the moisture of the chicken.

lilyng said...


if the master-sauce is still flavorful to your liking, you have to cook it down - like sauce reduction. Most often, more wine, spices and soya sauce have to added after several steepings.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

Tks for the wonderful recipe! I used chicken instead of duck, my husband and I love it. What is licorice root?

lilyng said...


licorise root is 'kum choe' in cantonese. you can get them in chinese medicinal shops if you are in malaysia or singapore. i could get them from asian stores in denver.

lilyng said...


yes, freeze the sauce.

Anonymous said...

Hi lily,
Love your blog. By the way what is Mui Kwai? Is it possible to attach a picture of it?


lilyng said...


if you cannot get Mui kwai loh aka rose wine, any wine will do, shaoxing/hua tiau is also great.

there is a picture of a bottle of mui kwai loh here

Aunt LoLo said...

I first red about this "mother sauce" in a Chinese cookbook last month...and they said you could cover the sauce and keep it in the refrigerator, and keep using it for months! ??

Anonymous said...

HI Lily,

My mom in law is a Teow Chew and when I she her preparing braised duck she will add some gula merah to it. This enhances the flavor of the dish.

lilyng said...


thanks for this tip, much appreciated.

Mrs T said...


Thanks for this mother sauce recipe, its very yummy. the only thing that concerned me is the sauce wont freeze in the freezer, it stayed in liquid stage. this is after I used it once and place it in freezer. Many thanks

Anonymous said...

love yr blog. U wouldn't have a recipe for Hakka duck with the special sauce would u. Tks hope u can help.

lilyng said...


can you provide some clue as to how Hakka Duck should be?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily, I'm from Indonesia. I want to ask you, what Licorice stick called in mandarin (chinese)? or Melayu? Thank you very much

lilyng said...


chinese word for licorice is 甘草

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