Itek Tim Recipe

Itek Tim


  • 1 litre duck stock (see this page for how to make duck stock)
  • 4 duck breasts or legs (basically, 4 portions of duck meat)
  • 200g of pork soup bones
  • 3 tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 large red chillies, roughly chopped
  • kiam chye (salted vegetables)
  • sour plums
  • 2 2-inch knobs of ginger, peeled and bruised
  • salt and pepper
  • soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp shaoxing rice wine

How to make Itek Tim

I love Itek Tim. It's a Peranakan soup dish that is quite well known in Singapore, and my mom always used to drag me to a couple of Peranakan restaurants so she could get her kiam chye fix. While I was preparing the duck confit for the weekend, I ended up with an entire stockpot full of duck stock. Only needing about 500ml for my glaze, I decided to make Itek Tim. It's really nice salty, sour, flavourful soup, and like most Chinese-y soups, it's not difficult to make at all. Just chuck everything in and boil!

Note: If you don't have duck stock handy, just use one whole fresh duck and simmer it with the pork bones and sour plums to make the soup, then continue from Step #. (Serves 4)

  1. Bring the duck stock to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add in the shaoxing wine, pork bones, sour plums, ginger, and kiam chye. Let it simmer for 30 minutes, so the flavour is infused in the soup. (If using duck legs, add them in here too.)
  2. Add in the chillies and tomatoes, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  3. If using duck breasts, which I assume you guys will be doing 'cos you'll be getting rid of the rest of your ducks from making all that confit, place them skin side down in a dry pan, and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes to render some of the fat out. Add them into the soup now, turn the heat right down, and poach them for about 10 minutes more.
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and soya sauce. Serve, and enjoy!

Note: In order to prevent the soup from turning a very toxic looking green (and being too sour), be sure to soak the kiam chye for a few hours at least in advance. Discard the water used for soaking. Also, it's more authentic to use duck with bones in for the soup, but this is a good way to get rid of the extra breasts after you try my confit recipe. :)

  • telliecoin
    telliecoin says

    AHH AHHH I LOVE THIS!! We call it "Kiam Chye Ap" :D directly translated as salted preserved vegetable duck .. it's sour, spicy and salty and the YUM!!!!!

  • rachel
    rachel says

    Yeah, this recipe's really a mix between the two (since I've never seen a recipe for either and I added some chinese-y ingredients - like Shaoxing Wine - to the mix)..

  • telliecoin
    telliecoin says

    to be honest this is what I usually do, leftover roast duck, shove it into a pot with dried chilly, tamarinds and kiam chye, probably half an onion and a whole bunch or garlic and just leave it. i've never made duck stock.. :P i cheat shh!

  • rachel
    rachel says

    haha that's fine what - i only had duck stock cos of all the duck carcasses lying around my kitchen from the confit preparation. (recipe will be up this weekend)

  • tea
    tea says

    hey rachel i can't believe you made duck confit, i always wanted to but it you need so much duck fat that i'm too lazy to make it.

  • rachel
    rachel says

    well it's not complete yetttt. or it is but i haven't served it yet. its sitting in the fridge in a pile of fat now haha. it's really not that bad, the only tiring part was dismembering the ducks, which is where you get the fat from. haha. i've read that some people just use lard though, so that could be a good cheat!

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