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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Duck and Mango Soba Salad

Duck and Mango Soba Salad
Duck and Mango Soba Salad is a big bowl of deliciousness--slithery noodles, succulent roast duck, juicy mango slices and vibrant green herbs. The dressing relies on just a few pantry staples. Asian pantry staples that is. I recommend you keep on hand six basic items--Chinese chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, miso and coconut milk. You can expand that list as you see fit. I always have various types of soy sauce and Chinese vinegars, oyster sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, Mirin, Chinese sesame paste, shelf stable packages of tofu, Asian noodles and some Thai curry pastes. A few pantry staples, a stop to pick up a duck at a Chinese deli and a swing through a produce market and you're on your way to making Duck and Mango Soba Salad!

I shop on Clement Street frequently because there are lots of produce markets with a variety of fruit and vegetables I can't find elsewhere (such as Chinese greens and fresh lychees) shops where I can find dim sum to-go and Chinese delis. I know some people like rotisserie chickens, but I prefer Chinese roast duck. Where I live in San Francisco they cost about $12 for a whole and $7 for a half duck. Roast duck is about as versatile as rotisserie chicken but so much tastier and not expensive.

This week I bought some firm green mangoes for a dollar a piece. You don't have to wait until a mango is soft to use it. In fact, some dishes are better if you use a firmer, less ripe mango. This is one of those recipes. If your mango gets very soft, scoop the flesh from the skin and pit, and freeze the pulp. It's great in smoothies, ice cream and baked goods.

Note: Test the noodles before the package instructions indicate they are done.

Duck and Mango Soba Salad 
Serves 4 as a main dish


6 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese chili garlic sauce (please tell me you have this, if not, you need it)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 7 - 8 oz package buckwheat or cha green tea soba noodles
1 cup Chinese roast duck sliced
1 large firm mango, sliced into matchsticks
4 green onions, slivered
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped or more to taste


Whisk the first five ingredients together until sugar is dissolved.

Cook the soba noodles al dente according to package directions. Do not overcook! Once cooked, drain, rinse, and place in a large mixing or serving bowl.

To the soba noodles add the duck, mango, green onions, and cilantro. Add dressing and toss again before serving.