I recently made this Thai Red Duck Curry to warm us up on a chilly Sunday evening. I always think duck meat is best complimented with something sweet like plums, honey or, as in this case, lychees and pineapple. These fruits really add layers of flavour to the curry. Canned lychees are ok for this recipe but it is important to use fresh pineapple to take full advantage of its tropical tartness. Canned pineapple doesn't work because its sweetness isn't balanced by any acidity.
It is also really important to try and use Thai Basil in this recipe as it has a stronger flavour than other sweet basils and a faint licorice essence.
I kind of cheated with the duck. I didn't cook it myself. Why bother when Chinatown is five minutes away with hundreds of freshly barbecued ducks for sale!
This week I will submit this recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging which is being hosted this week by The Expatriate Chef from The Expatriate's Kitchen.
Thai Red Duck Curry Recipe
Half a BBQ duck, sliced
1 small pumpkin or squash, cut into bite-sized chunks
4-5 cups of coconut milk
1 cup of water
4-5 tbs of red curry paste
1.5 tsp of palm sugar
2.5 tbs of fish sauce
1.5 cups of Thai Basil leaves
1 quarter of a ripe pineapple, cut into bite-sized chunks
6 lychees, cut into halves
Steamed Jasmine rice to serve
- Bring half of the coconut milk to a gentle boil in a large pot. Add the curry paste and stir to break the paste up for about 5 or 6 minutes. Add the remaining coconut milk, stir and simmer.
- Add the palm sugar and stir well to dissolve.
- Next, add the pumpkin and about half a cup to a cup of water to dilute the coconut milk. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
- Now add the sliced duck and basil and stir gently.
- Continue to simmer curry for about 10 minutes then add the fish sauce. Stir.
- Add the pineapple chunks and stir well.
- After about 5 minutes, taste the curry and see if you need any more fish sauce or palm sugar. Adjust the sweet and salty flavour to your liking.
- Next, add the lychee pieces and stir well.
- Serve the curry in bowls with rice and garnish with basil leaves.