Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Red Duck Curry with Lychees

When you have a fresh duck in your kitchen and a kaffir lime tree full of leaves in your garden, you make Red Duck Curry with Lychees. Or is that just me?

Red Duck Curry with Lychees
adapted from Teage Ezard's Lotus
Serves 4

For the Curry Paste:
1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
3 star anise
1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
8 Asian shallots or banana shallots (or whatever shallots you can get your hands on)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4cm piece of fresh ginger root, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
4 double kaffir lime leaves, sliced
8 dried chillies, deseeded and soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, then drained
5 coriander roots, washed

For the Duck:
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
4 star anise
1 whole nutmeg, cracked
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 x 2kg duck
3 cup sunflower oil for frying

For the Curry:
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
100ml coconut cream
500ml coconut milk
1 x 400g can lychees
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce

To Serve:
Coconut cream for drizzling
Basil leaves
Fried shallots
Steam jasmine rice

Make the Curry Paste:
Put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. Add a little water if it's a bit hard to blend. Set aside.

Cook the Duck:
Put the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, star anise, nutmeg and peppercorns into a dry frying pan and toast for 1 - 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and grind in a mortar and pestle until it is a fine powder. Set aside.

Cut the legs off the body of the duck at the thigh joint. Separate the thighs from the drumsticks by cutting through the joint. Cut the breast from the rib cage (but leave them still attached to the breastplate). Discard the cage and wings. You should have two drumsticks, two thighs and two breasts (the duck, not you, though you probably have these too). Cut the breasts and thighs through the bones into three pieces each. Leave the drumsticks whole.

Place the duck pieces into a large bowl and sprinkle over the dry roasted ground spices. Place the duck pieces into a steamer and steam for 40 minutes. Leave to cool and then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a wok and fry the duck pieces in batches until crisp (about 5 minutes). Drain on paper towels.

Make the Curry:
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the coconut cream and fry over medium heat until the cream splits (the oils will separate from the solids and it will begin to smell nutty). Add the curry paste and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the coconut milk and 3 tablespoons of the lychee syrup and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the duck and simmer until just heated through. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar. Taste for balance of flavours, adjusting if necessary.

Transfer the curry to a serving platter, add the lychees, sprinkle with basil leaves and fried shallots, drizzle with coconut cream and serve with steamed jasmine rice.


  1. Jen, this looks and sounds INCREDIBLE. You are one talented lady!

  2. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. I could so get into a big bowl of this right now :)

  3. Oh My... this looks sensational!... when am I going to get a chance to post my recipes if I keep trying and making yours! :) Thanks so much for sharing! Liz x