Much of Vietnamese cooking has a distinctly Chinese influence, which you can see in this classic recipe featuring soy sauce, egg noodles and BBQ duck, that’s straight off the streets of Saigon. 






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (25 votes)

It’s super easy to make, especially as you don’t need to cook the duck - just go and buy one, already cut up, from a Chinese BBQ shop.


  • 2.25 L (9 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 ½ sticks of cinnamon
  • 2 star anise
  • 8 dried red chillies
  • 4 cm piece of ginger, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and bruised
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) fish sauce
  • 2 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp shaved palm sugar
  • 6 baby bok choy, washed and halved lengthways
  • 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable oil
  • 10 g (⅓ cup) dried chili pieces
  • 900 g thin fresh egg noodles
  • 1 Chinese barbecue duck, thinly sliced through the bone


To serve

  • 4 medium red chilies. sliced
  • 3 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 300 g (3 cups) mung bean sprouts, ends trimmed
  • large handful of coriander

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Combine the stock, cinnamon, star anise, chillies, ginger and garlic in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to allow flavours to infuse.

Add the fish sauce, soy sauces and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a simmer then add the bok choy and cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cover.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium. Add the dried chillies and fry for 2-3 minutes or until the chillies have darkened and are fragrant (see Note). Using a slotted spoon, remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain. Add the noodles to the boiling water in the large pan and cook for 3 minutes, or according to manufacturer’s instructions, until tender. Drain well then divide among large bowls.

Top noodles with bok choy and slices of duck then pour over the stock. Serve with fresh chilies, deep-fried chillies, sprouts, lime pieces and coriander.


• You can keep the oil you use to deep-fry the chillies and use it in your cooking.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Tiffany Page.