Red Thai Fragrant Duck Curry

This has to be one of the most flavour-packed and sumptuous dishes that I make at home. Its utterly luxuriant in texture and flavour but remarkably simple to make and a great way to get your kids into eating slightly more spicy food (if that’s what you like). You can make your red Thai curry paste from scratch, I have done it before and it makes a little difference, but in my opinion not enough to warrant all the effort. I generally go for Bluered-thai Elephant Brand, as I have tried a few and this one seems to be the best of what is locally available. There are no nasties and yucky preservatives in this paste – and the way its sealed makes for convenient use. If you are making the
curry for people gun-shy of chili then use half the amount of paste recommended, like I did here.

I would definitely use fresh pineapple – it does make all the difference and if you can roast the duck the day before then its really something you can rack up very easily as a quick supper 😉 Duck is not “every-day” food so a special occasion (Like surviving the week 🙂 or a get together with friends makes sense here. Plus you will want everyone to clap for you when they taste how insanely flavoursome this dish is.

I served mine with Basmati Rice (not fond of jasmine rice – find it very stodgy) that I had steamed with a couple pieces of Star Anise (which just gives the rice this incredible fragrance) and a simple asian inspired slaw. In this case it was just bits and pieces of raw veg I had available that fitted the bill –  Kholrabi, radish, apple, carrot, green chilli, lime juice, poppy seeds, walnut oil & seasoning.

Ingredients – Serves 6

  • 2 Duck Breasts
  • 4 Duck Legs (you could use all Duck breast but this would make the dish quite pricey, and as its going in a curry the meat from the leg is just as tasty)
  • 1 packet Red Thai Curry paste
  • 1 tblsp Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup chopped sweet fresh pineapple (I used a fresh pineapple and removed the skin and core)star-anise
  • 1 cup firm crisp seedless green grapes – halved
  • 1 cup small and firm but ripe cherry tomatoes – halved
  • Handful fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1/2 handful chopped Coriander leaves
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 500ml Coconut Cream (You can use Coconut Milk or mix it 50/50 – you will get a much thinner and less luxuriant texture)
  • 1 large Star Anise
  • Juice of half a fresh lime


  1. Either the day before or 2-3 hours before you make the curry you will need to roast the Duck pieces so heat the Oven to 180C or moderate oven.
  2.  Firstly you will need to sear the pieces in a hot fry pan. No oil needed in the pan as the duck is very fatty – just make sure its hot. Start skin side down to start releasing the fat from the duck and you just want a light all over golden brown look. Place the pieces in an oven roasting tray and place them in the middle of the oven.
  3. Roast for about 50 mins until cooked through and you can see almost all the fat has cooked off. All ovens vary so just keep your eye on them, you don’t want horrible burnt skin.
  4. Once they are cooked through and you have a beautiful crispy browned skin remove them and place to one side, or even for the next day.


When you are ready to make the curry:

  1. Bring a large stewing pot to a moderate heat and add the coconut oil.
  2. Once melted add your sliced onion and sweat taking care not to allow the onions to brown too much.
  3. Add the paste and star anise and cook for a minute or so stirring all the time.
  4. Add the Coconut Cream (Or mix with coconut milk) and stir until fully incorporated into the paste. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins on a gentle heat.
  5. While the sauce is simmering you need to slice the duck breast into mouth bite size slices, and remove the skin from the leg pieces and carve those up into pieces. You can use your hands and knife to help ease some of the flesh off the bones.
  6. Add the meat to the curry sauce and simmer for 10 mins more on a gentle heat.
  7. If you are going to serve this immediately then you can go to the next step – otherwise you could leave the curry like this for a few hours and just heat and assemble before serving.
  8. Add your fresh prepared fruit and chopped herbs and squeeze of lime and heat through.
  9. Season to taste and serve!