Duck Blood and Vermicelli Soup - Gastro Obscura

Prepared Foods

Duck Blood and Vermicelli Soup

Congealed and sliced, the ferric addition is known for its purported health benefits.

Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine attest to the health benefits of eating solidified blood, whose purported curative effects range from promoting circulation to boosting energy. Chefs turn the liquid solid by cooking duck blood until it congeals into firm, sliceable pieces. The texture of the resulting substance is best captured by this review in the Washington City Paper: “slick and springy, somewhere between tofu and liver, with the snap of a good hot dog.”

In Nanjing, a city in China known for duck-centric cuisine, congealed duck blood is a key ingredient in winter soups. Cooks boil Chinese medicinal herbs in broth, then add tofu, vermicelli, chunks of duck blood, and occasionally organ meats such as duck liver and intestines. Diners would be hard-pressed not to notice the taste of iron, but the blood mostly takes on the flavor of the herbs and offal.

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