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Thai duck curry recipe

Thai duck curry recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Curry
  • Duck curry

Fab spicy, sour and sweet duck curry. It was a great challenge trying to 'guess the ingredients'. Hope you like it.

Kent, England, UK

23 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • Curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass (about 3 stalks)
  • 7 Thai red chillies
  • 1 large pinch rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped galangal or root ginger
  • 4 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste, roasted in a dry pan
  • 2 large duck breasts, skin on
  • groundnut oil as needed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 red chillies, de-seeded and sliced
  • 2 tubs dark chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons tamarind water * see note
  • large handful green beans or snake beans, sliced diagnally
  • 1/2 small tin bamboo shoots or water chestnuts
  • Thai basil or fresh coriander to garnish
  • 1 whole kaffir lime leaf for garnish (optional)

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:1hr5min

  1. Begin by making the curry paste in a pestle and mortar. Add all the curry paste ingredients and mash down well into a smooth paste. Set aside until ready to use (can be made ahead).
  2. Pan fry the whole duck breasts until slightly pink but not cooked all the way through. Allow to rest and then slice thinly using a cleaver or very sharp knife. Do this in the morning and chill until needed.
  3. Heat a good tablespoon of groundnut oil in a wok, add the onions, red pepper and chilli and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 of the prepared curry paste, cook for a few minutes then add the stock, fish sauce, palm sugar and soy sauce. Stir well then add the tamarind water. Cook for 3 minutes then add the beans, bamboo shoots and duck slices. Cook for approximately 7 minutes.
  4. Serve with jasmine rice garnished with a slice of lime or sticky rice. Garnish with basil or coriander and a whole kaffir lime leaf (optional).


Tamarind water is available in Asian Supermarkets. If you cannot get hold of this a suitable substitute would be mixing together 4 tablespoons of lime juice with 4 tablespoons brown sugar.

Snake beans are also called Chinese long bean or yardlong bean. You can find them at some Asian or oriental markets, but regular green beans work just as well.


This goes well as part of a Thai banquet dinner. I usually make Thai fish cakes and chicken satay for starters, then serve the duck curry with a Thai green chicken curry.

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Reviews in English (2)

what do I do with the remaining quarter of the curry paste?-17 Apr 2016

Delicious thai treat.-16 May 2015

Duck in Coconut Curry

Preheat the broiler. Deeply score the duck breasts in a crosshatch pattern. Rub the soy sauce and oil over the breasts and season with salt. Arrange the duck, skin side down, on a baking sheet and broil for 2 minutes. Turn the breasts and broil for 3 more minutes, or until the skin is crisp and the meat is medium rare. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice the meat across the grain 1/4 inch thick.

In a large saucepan, bring the thick coconut milk to a simmer over high heat. Stir in the Panaeng Chile Paste, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tamarind liquid, fish sauce and palm sugar.

In a small bowl, combine the lychees, lime juice and a pinch of salt. Add the duck to the curry sauce and cook over moderate heat just until warmed through. Transfer the curry to a shallow bowl and garnish with the lychees, Thai chile, lime leaf and basil. Serve with steamed rice.


PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Place duck in roasting pan. Roast 1 hour or until almost cooked through. Cool duck. Remove skin. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

HEAT oil in large skillet or wok on high heat. Add ginger and lime leaves stir fry 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add red curry paste and tomato paste stir fry 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, stirring to release browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add coconut milk, peanut satay sauce, green beans and tomatoes. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low simmer 3 to 4 minutes or until green beans are tender.

STIR in duck. Simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Stir in chopped basil. Remove lime leaves before serving. Serve with cooked jasmine rice. Garnish with whole basil leaves, if desired.

Test Kitchen Tip: Makrut lime leaves are shiny, thick, dark green leaves that grow in doubles—as two connected leaflets. The leaves provide a refreshing lemon-lime aroma and flavor typical of Thai cuisine. To get the maximum amount of flavor when using whole fresh leaves, remove the center stem/vein and discard. Dried leaves can be used whole. Makrut lime leaves are available fresh, frozen or dried in Asian markets and online retailers.


The first thing I had to do when I made it this weekend was make some red curry paste. The reason I had to make red curry paste is that I thought I had red curry, but didn&rsquot actually have any red curry paste. I think I did this subconsciously so that I would be forced to make my own dang red curry paste because it&rsquos something I&rsquod never done before. I found this simple recipe, then adapted it to fit what I had on hand, and what flavors I wanted to highlight.

* Note: Red Thai curry paste is not to be confused with red Thai chili paste, which is a totally different product.

* Also, if you already have red Thai curry paste on hand, you can skip this part of the recipe.


Half cooked duck (sliced in pieces)

2 tablespoons of red curry paste

2 tablespoons of fish sauce


• Turn on the medium heat and add the coconut cream to the boiling pot.

• After the coconut cream begins to bubble, add the red curry paste and stir to combine with the coconut cream.

• After the red oil starts to separate from the sauce. Add the rest of the coconut milk to boil in the pot.

• After the curry begins to boil, add the duck, the pineapple, the tomato, the lime leaf, the basil and the eggplant to cook with the sauce. Bring to boil.

• Decrease the heat to low and stir occasionally. Keep simmering until the vegetables are cooked.

• Add the fish sauce and the sugar to season the curry.

• Taste your sauce and adjust for your preferences.

• Turn off the stove. Pour in a nice bowl and serve with hot jasmine rice.

Thai Duck Curry Discussion

This curry dish will get the buzz going at your dinner table. Roasted duck provides a unique and outstanding taste. In addition, the pineapple and tomato impart a delightful essence to the curry. They provide a tropical flavor to the curry. You can make this exotic taste of Southeast Asian at home with a truly painless preparation. There is nothing better than such a perfect meal with such little work.

Duck has a distinctive taste which embodies the character of Thai cuisine. You can easily buy a roasted duck from your local Chinese restaurant or Asian market. There are many options to create deliciousness using this nontraditional western food item. If you are not familiar with duck, try ordering this dish from your favorite Thai eatery. I bet you will want to cook Thai duck at home soon!

"Delicious duck curry" (red Thai curry with slow-cooked duck legs)

A couple of months ago, my boyfriend and I visited Oxford. It’s only the second time I’ve been back since finishing my Masters in 2011. The entire weekend was a glorious succession of sunshine, revisiting old haunts, catching up with friends, aching nostalgia, beautiful scenery and incredible food. While I diligently tried to return to as many of my favourite restaurants as possible, I also decided to try somewhere new. I’d read rave reviews on the internet of a place simply termed ‘Oli’s Thai’, and so we found ourselves tucked into this tiny restaurant on a sunny Saturday afternoon experiencing some of the best south east Asian food I’ve ever eaten…including that in south east Asia itself.

This isn’t a restaurant review, though – you’ll have to look elsewhere on the internet for that or, better still, get yourself down to Oli’s Thai and stuff your face with the incredible hot hot hot papaya salad, the zingy pad thai, the delicate lemongrass beef…and the panang confit duck curry, which is what I want to talk to you about right now.

Imagine the most luscious, sweet, thick, creamy coconut sauce you could possibly encounter. Imagine it fragranced with those zesty, heady ingredients that make Thai food so moreish: lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal, chillies, fish sauce. Imagine its gentle assault on your tongue as it sends sharp explosions of chilli heat racing around your tastebuds before softening its blow with the sweet balm of coconut and palm sugar.

But then, here’s the bit that might just make you swoon: imagine that sauce of dreams draped luxuriantly around the tenderest, meatiest, richest slow-cooked confit duck leg you could ever ask for, its crispy skin splitting in shards under the gentle pressure of a fork to yield melting, butter-soft shreds of succulent meat.

It was, genuinely, the best south east Asian curry I’ve ever encountered. I never expected something eaten in Oxford to knock Cambodian amok or Indonesian jackfruit gulai off the top spots, but there you go, such is the joy of our modern cosmopolitan food culture. We almost licked the plate clean every last shred of sauce and meat was assiduously mopped up with fluffy forkfuls of rice (and the odd fingertip…ssh) and we spent the rest of the weekend reminiscing about it. It was promptly termed ‘delicious duck curry’, and has remained thus ever since in our minds.

Last week, I tried to recreate this beauty of a dish in my own kitchen. Few cooking experiences have satisfied me as much as the loving preparation that went into it. I rubbed salt and pepper into the duck legs and left them for a day, so that the moisture would be drawn out resulting in a crispier leg. I browned them in a hot pan, until they started to release their delicious fat, before cooking them in the oven for two hours until tender and so crispy the skin sounded hard under the tap of a knife. I could have confited them properly, in duck fat, I suppose, but I couldn’t be bothered and I didn’t want to end up with something horribly fatty. This worked just fine.

I sautéed slivers of shallots in rapeseed oil until golden, adding garlic, fresh lemongrass, shredded lime leaves, and then turmeric and Thai red curry paste (I didn’t make this myself, but I used the Mae Ploy brand, which I spied piled up on the shelves in Oli’s Thai, so I figured it was an acceptable substitute). Next, chicken stock and coconut milk: the thick, creamy, full-fat kind is essential to get that mouth-coating deliciousness. Finally, a splash of fish sauce to season, the juice of half a lime, and more sugar than you’d really think possible in a savoury dish. I used palm sugar that I brought back from Cambodia a couple of years ago, probably around 3 tsp. It’s essential for that moreish, tempering sweetness.

After the duck had rested, I poured this glorious thick, creamy, fragrant sauce over the top, sprinkled with coriander (although I’ll use Thai basil next time, as the stuff I planted a few weeks ago is nearly big enough to use) and served it alongside a bowl of fluffy rice and some stir-fried pineapple with garlic, ginger, chilli and greens (see

for recipe). The pineapple is excellent alongside the meaty duck, enveloped in that gorgeous sauce.

It may be a few weeks since I tried the original ‘delicious duck curry’, but I genuinely think this is just as incredible. For me, it has the perfect balance of hot/sweet/sour/salty, all wrapped up in that luscious creamy coconut sauce. Better yet, it is really easy to make and you don’t need any fancy ingredients you can get all of this in major supermarkets or Asian grocers. If you’re vegetarian, I reckon the sauce would be great with some pan-fried tofu or roasted aubergines. If you’re not, enjoy the amazing pairing of sweet, fragrant coconut with crispy, rich duck. If I had to make a ‘top 10’ of recipes from this blog, this would be up there in the first three. It’s amazing and I am super-proud of it. Make it.

‘Delicious duck curry’ (serves 4):

  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 6 shallots, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 fresh lime leaves, shredded
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy brand)
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 400ml full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander or Thai basil
  • Lime wedges, to serve

First, prepare the duck. The night before, or the morning you want to make the curry, rub the salt into the duck legs and place in the fridge for as long as possible. Two hours before you want to eat, pre-heat the oven to 190C. Rinse the duck and dry well on kitchen paper. Get an ovenproof frying pan very hot, then brown the duck on all sides – take your time over this, you want it to be quite crispy and release some of its fat. Put the duck in the pan, skin side up, in the oven, covered with foil. Then cook for an hour and 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes, then leave to rest.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the shallots over a medium heat until golden. Add the garlic, lemongrass and lime leaves and sauté for another couple of minutes. Add the turmeric and curry paste, and cook for another couple of minutes until all is fragrant.

Add the stock and coconut milk, then cook gently for around 15 minutes until thick and creamy. Add the sugar and then the fish sauce (taste as you go – depending on the brand of chicken stock you use, it might be quite salty already) and lime juice. Taste and check for seasoning – you might want it a bit sweeter or saltier. Finally, add the herbs.

To serve, spoon the sauce over the duck legs. Serve with rice, lime to squeeze over, and – if you like – cubes of fresh pineapple stir-fried with some chopped garlic, chilli, ginger and greens (see here for recipe).

Thai Duck Red Curry with Pineapple

(Updated). Meltingly tender duck combines wonderfully with the sharp and sweet flavours of pineapple and coconut in a Thai red curry sauce. I’m not normally a fan of pineapple in savoury dishes (put it on my pizza at your own risk!) but it really does work with this dish. I used to cook this with duck legs but so many people have told me they prefer to use duck breast so I have updated the recipe to reflect that fact. This also has the benefit of allowing the breast to be served pink with the sauce spooned over the duck breast instead of it being cooked in the sauce as it would be when using duck legs. How rare you wish to serve the duck breast is entirely a matter of personal taste, the difference involved is merely minutes. And talking of minutes, that is really all it takes to produce this dish so let’s go!

I like to cook this using a duck breast per person. 1 Can of coconut milk for two duck breasts. The Kaffir lime leaves are optional as they are already in the paste but they make for a nice decoration on most Thai curry dishes. Check out the link for advice on where to buy. As always, make sure you’re using the “right” type of coconut milk as it will make or break this or any other coconut based curry. Quick guide here, Coconut Milk Summary .
Add the red curry paste to the pan with some of the coconut milk. If you have followed the advice above about the coconut milk then add the thicker part of the coconut milk to the pan, reserving the thinner portion to adjust the sauce later.

Heat through gently and bring to a simmer and put to one side.

If you’re using Kaffir lime leaves and you want to cut them finely as in the image at the top then see how to do it on this link, Kaffir Lime Chiffonade .
Cut and reserve any peppers you are using.
Cut pineapple into chunks. In an earlier recipe for this I used to cut the pineapple into fancy sections, pretty but time consuming and tricky for those who don't carve pineapples daily. Now I just advise people to cut it whichever way they feel comfortable with. Will this recipe work with canned pineapple? Probably, but you're asking the wrong person! I'm Thai and the whole concept of canned pineapple is alien to me:-)
Put the pineapple segments to one side.

Now we are going to cook the duck breast. I don’t feel it is necessary to score the skin of the duck in this recipe. You can do so if you wish, using a sharp knife but do make sure you don’t cut through to the flesh, and certainly not your own flesh!
Put just a little frying oil in the pan and cook the duck breasts skin side down at a medium heat for about five minutes.

Turn the duck breasts over and cook for around three minutes. Those timings should result in a rare to medium duck. The skin side of the duck should be nicely browned as below .

Remove the duck breast from the pan but don’t throw away the cooking juices. Place the duck breasts on a plate to rest under a piece of foil.

Add the pineapple segments to the pan and let them cook in the juices turning them occasionally until they are caramelised around the edges. Remove from pan and reserve.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook quite quickly until the skins begin to burst.

Remove from the pan. Add any sliced peppers to the pan and fry quickly and remove.
Reheat the sauce adjusting the consistency as you go.
Slice the duck breast crosswise into sections as shown.

Thai Green Curry with Roasted Duck and Young Chilies (แกงเขียวหวานเป็ดย่าง gaaeng khiaao waan bpet yang)

Green curry, with its mellow, creamy green color and rich coconut base, has both fresh and mature flavors. Like new growth on plants, it brings brightness, youthfulness, spring and rebirth to the meltdown of flavors created in the curry paste.

The green curry paste uses mainly the same standard ingredients as Thai spicy-red curry paste: lemongrass, coriander roots, kaffir lime zest, galangal, garlic, shallots, white peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, salt and kapi.

There is one exception – the dry red chili peppers are replaced with fresh green chilies. These bring to the curry a fresh green taste with shades of bitterness, but also the same rich, mature notes bestowed by the dried red pods. If a more vivid, definite green color is desired, the green chlorophyll – the color of growth – from fresh chili pepper leaves or coriander leaves can be added.

This is the standard green curry paste for common odorless meats such as chicken and pork if gamey or fishy meat is used, additional aromatics and herbs are employed to counter the stronger smell. For beef, additional dry spices like mace, nutmeg and Thai cardamom are often added. Fingerroot (grachai, กระชาย) and a small amount of fresh sand ginger (หัวเปราะ) are added to the green curry paste when using fish and if duck is used, fresh sand ginger (หัวเปราะ), along with fresh peppercorns, are often added.

In Thai, the word aawn waan (อ่อนหวาน) is used to describe the mild, pleasant, mellow, pastel green shade of the green curry. The expression means “soft-sweet”, which is perhaps why green curry is often seasoned to the sweet spectrum. This exaggerated sweetness is pleasing to the Western palate, making green curry a favorite Thai dish among foreigners. The truth is that the authentic flavor profile of green curry should not be so different from spicy-red curry, i.e. spicy-salty, with a sweetness found in the base of the coconut cream.

Today we will demonstrate a green curry recipe from the 1926 cookbook, “khuu meuu maae kruaa” (คู่มือแม่ครัว), written by an author who goes by the pen name Lor. Phaehtraarat (ล. เภตรารัตน์). This is the earliest mention of green curry that we could find in print.

Ancient Thai curries evolved from water-based dishes (bplaa raa ปลาร้า, gaaeng liiang แกงเลียง, gaaeng dtohm sohm แกงต้มส้ม) that used only fermented fish (pla ra) or fermented shrimp paste (kapi), along with shallots and garlic. Until chili peppers were introduced in the 16 th century by the Europeans, other pungent agents such as white peppercorns, fingerroot (grachai), ginger and galangal were utilized to achieve spiciness. Coconuts had been abundant in Siam for millennia, and were used for dessert making rather than cooking encounters with Persian, Indian and Malay cuisines introduced the coconut into curry making. Only then – when chilies were available, and the technique of cooking coconut-based curries was adapted and gradually modified, and applied to suit the Siamese palate – do we find the typical red Thai curries.

Those dishes are dressed in a passionate and determined red. The green curry is probably the youngest addition to the curry color spectrum, as it is not mentioned in Siamese oral or written literature, nor does it appear in the oldest set of Thai cookbooks. Examining old cookbooks, we can safely determine that green curry was invented during the reign of King Rama 6 or Rama 7, between the years 1908-1926.

Historical references
Green curry is not found in the 1890 (2433 BE, 109RE) cookbook “Tam Raa Gap Khao”, by Maawm Sohm Jeen (“ตำรากับเข้า” หม่อมซ่มจีน ราชานุประพันธุ์”). Nor is it mentioned in Lady Plean Passakornrawong’s cookbook “Maae Khruaa Huaa Bpaa” (“แม่ครัวหัวป่าก์”), which was first published in 1908 after a short period of publishing recipes in the city magazine “Bpradtithin Bat Laae Joht Maai Haeht” (“ประติทินบัตร แล จดหมายเหตุ”). Lady Plean recounts that she was required to edit most of that monumental work – spread over five volumes – herself, as the editor had decamped due to a romantic affair.

Green curry is also absent from the major revisions of Lady Plean’s work carried out by her daughters and granddaughters. This includes the revised third edition in 1952, which was supervised by Lady Plean’s daughter Lady Damrong Ratchapolkhan (Puang Bunnag) (คุณหญิงดำรงราชพลขันธ์, พวง บุนนาค) in this edition, the entire measuring and weight system was updated – rewritten from traditional Thai to modern units – and the collection was bound into one book that spans more than 635 pages.

Green curry only appears in the 1971 fifth edition of “Maae Khruaa Huaa Bpaa”, printed as a memorial book for Lady Plean Passakornrawong’s daughter Jao Jaawm Phit, and overseen by Mrs. Samaknantapol (Jeep Bunnag) (นางสมรรคนันทพล, จีบ บุนนาค).

Thus, the earliest mention of green curry that we could find (and we welcome readers’ comments of any earlier mentions) remain confined to the two cookbooks of Lor. Phaehtraarat (ล. เภตรารัตน์), published in 1926 (2469 BE) and in 1934 (2477 BE), “Khuu Meuu Maae Kruaa and Dtam Raa Khaao Waan” (คู่มือแม่ครัว และ ตำราคาวหวาน) both describe a method of cooking duck curry.

Frying it all together

You have all your ingredients ready It’s time to stir fry everything together.

If you haven’t already watched the video above, this is where the video will be really helpful.

Turn your wok or pan to a medium heat and add in about 2 tbsp. of oil. Let it heat up before adding in the pounded chilies and garlic. Stir fry for about 30 seconds and then add in the curry paste.

Stir fry for about 2 more minutes, and if it gets dry you can add in just a little splash of water to help things along.

Next goes in all the pre-cooked minced meat, minced wild duck in this case.

Keep stir frying and mixing constantly on a medium high heat for about 3 minutes. You want most of the moisture to evaporate.

Then toss in the galangal, and cumin and coriander, and stir fry for another 1 minute.

Next add in the chopped tree basil and green peppercorns, and keep stir frying, folding them into the meat.

Taste test – if you need more saltiness add some fish sauce

At this stage you can taste test your Thai chili stir fry. It should be spicy and salty. When I taste tested it was salty enough from the curry paste. But if you need more saltiness, add in some fish sauce.

Final step is to take about 15 kaffir lime leaves, stack them on top of each other, and shave them finely. Sprinkle all the kaffir lime leaves on top and fold them into the stir fry for about 30 seconds, and turn off your heat.

Just look at all that flavor!!

When you’re finished cooking, dish it onto a plate, and make sure you eat with hot fresh white or brown rice.

I like to say that this dish, and especially the way my mother in-law makes it, it has to be one of the most flavorful dishes in Thai cuisine per square millimeter.

It’s going to be spicy, and crazy delicious!

  • 12 ounces boneless duck breast, (see Ingredient notes, below), skin removed
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 pound eggplant, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, red and/or yellow, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup “lite” coconut milk
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon green curry paste, (see Ingredient notes)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, (see Ingredient notes), optional
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ½ cup sliced fresh basil

Cut duck breast crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large straight-sided skillet over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Cook the duck, in a single layer, stirring once, until beginning to brown, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add eggplant, bell peppers, coconut milk, broth, brown sugar, curry paste, fish sauce (if using) and lime juice to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Return the duck to the pan stir to coat with the sauce and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat stir in basil and serve immediately.

Ingredient Notes: Boneless duck breast halves range widely in weight, from about 1/2 to 1 pound, depending on the breed of duck. They can be found in most supermarkets in the poultry or specialty-meat sections or online at or

Green curry paste: A fiery and moist mixture of green chiles and Thai seasonings, such as lemongrass and galangal, is available in the Asian section of large supermarkets. Red curry paste can be substituted.

Fish sauce: A pungent Southeast Asian sauce made from salted, fermented fish. Found in the Asian section of large supermarkets and in Asian specialty markets.

Watch the video: Thai Food - PIG HEAD KNIFE SKILLS Pork Stir Fry Aoywaan Bangkok Thailand (January 2022).