This braise is straight from the street stalls and rice shops of Bangkok’s Chinatown. It can be served wet – that is, as a soup – or dry, as here, when it is more like a dish of braised vegetables. The Westerner in me wants to suggest you use stock for this, but in fact plain water is used on the street. Almost any type of Chinese green-leafed vegetable can be thrown into the mix, along with the roast duck (or pork) from a Chinatown barbeque shop. Yellow bean sauce can usually be found just down the road from the barbeque shop, in any Asian grocer. It’s almost like unstrained soy sauce or miso – look for one containing whole soy beans. I find this dish tastes much better the next day, and it will keep well for several days – just bring it to the boil every few days to keep it sweet.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the garlic paste until just golden. Add the yellow bean sauce and continue to fry until golden and aromatic. Pour in the stock or water and add all the prepared vegetables and the oyster and soy sauce.
Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 2 or so hours, stirring every so often to prevent it catching. During the cooking time, skim the surface and replenish with water as required. Allow to cool overnight.
The next day, return to the boil and check the seasoning: the liquid should taste rich and slightly salty – adjust with additional soy sauce. When ready to serve, add the sliced duck and simmer for a minute or so to warm through, then serve the duck and vegetables with just a little of the liquid poured over and sprinkled with pepper.
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