Wild Duck Pho

Vietnamese pho with duck with crispy skin, green onions and herbs in Hoi An, Vietnam

PREP TIME 20 minutes

COOK TIME 3 hours


  • 2 wild ducks
  • 200g rice noodles
  • Half a ginger, thinly sliced into pieces
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 6-star anise
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, lightly smashed
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  •  1/2 cup of fish sauce

To Serve:

  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • Noodles
  • Bean sprouts
  • Large bunch of coriander
  • Large bunch of mint leaves
  • Spring onions
  • Lime wedges
  • Green bird’s eye chillies


  1. Begin by slicing the breast off the ducks and placing them in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes.
  2. To prepare the pho noodles, bring a kettle of water to a boil and pour it over the noodles in a bowl. Allow the noodles to soak for 8 minutes, then strain and rinse them with cold water. Stir in 1 tbsp of sesame oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
  3. In a pot large enough to simmer the ducks, roast whole spices over medium-high heat until fragrant and warm to the touch, but not smoking. This should take roughly 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. Transfer the roasted spices to a bowl for later use.
  5. Optional step: For added flavour, grill the slices ginger and onions over a gas hob, under the grill or on a BBQ.
  6. Place the duck carcasses, ginger, onions and lemongrass in the pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 3 hours.
  7. After three hours, the stock will taste amazing! Pass the stock through a fine sieve and remove the meat from the duck carcasses.
  8. Bring the sieved stock to a steady simmer and add the cooked duck meat, sugar, fish sauce and remaining sesame oil.
  9. To serve, place a bed of the cooked noodles in each bowl and top with a few pieces of sliced duck breast. Ladle the stock over the it all and top with the topping of your choice. Some recommended options include chillies, mint, coriander (cilantro), bean sprouts and spring onions (scallions) are all good as is a generous amount of lime juice and sriracha.

Enjoy your duck pho!