This recipe is great for any home cook interested in making an authentic dish from Thailand. The roasted duck is rich and flavorful thanks to soy sauce and fragrant spices, and the noodle soup uses fresh cilantro for a bright finish. This delicious recipe is courtesy of Thailand: The Cookbook, THE definitive Thai Cookbook.
Rinse the duck thoroughly in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the whole duck with the salt flakes and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse off the salt and pat dry with paper towels, then set aside.
Pound the ginger, garlic, and cilantro (coriander) roots in a mortar with a pestle until smooth, then transfer to a bowl and add the five spice powder, salted soybeans, salt, liquor or brandy, and sugar and mix until combined. Put the mixture inside the duck, then place the duck on a roasting tray, and set aside.
To make the honey sauce, mix the honey, thick soy sauce, and ⅓ cup of water in a bowl. Brush the duck all over 2–3 times with this mixture, then roast the duck in the oven for about 1½ hours or until cooked. During roasting, brush the duck with some of the honey sauce every 30 minutes.
When cooked, remove the duck from the oven, cover with kitchen foil, and let rest for at least 15 minutes. Remove the drumsticks and set aside, then carve the meat, slice into strips, and set aside.
To make the soup, heat the broth (stock) in a pan over medium heat. Put the star anise, cinnamon, garlic, cilantro (coriander) roots, and black pepper into a spice bag and add to the pan. Let the broth boil for 5 minutes. Season with the soy sauce, salt, sugar, and dark soy sauce, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Divide the noodles, bean sprouts, scallion (spring onion), fried garlic, and sliced duck among serving bowls. Pour about 1 cup of the soup into each bowl. Season to taste with the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and chile flakes, if using, and serve.