Turning up the heat on Thai Style Red Duck Curry

Thai Red duck curry with Lychees and pineapple recipe

Raffles is something of a curry aficionado and in his eight short years has built a tolerance for heat that leaves most adults slack jawed. The kid likes it hot! So much so that in Phuket, he virtually bathed in the stuff.

When restaurants would ask how we’d like our curry, based on a heat level of 1 to 3, Raffles would ask them to turn it up to 11. In fact, he wasn’t happy unless he broke into a fever and his face turned numb while eating them. Thankfully, it is said there are many health benefits in the consumption of chilli peppers, including a hefty injection of Vitamin C and an increased metabolism rate – which could explain why he’s stick thin when he consumes more than a stable of sumo wrestlers. Mind you, I eat a substantial amount of chilli myself and still have the metabolism of an elderly walrus, so I don’t know that it really works as advertised.

In Phuket, Raffles was in curry heaven. He learned to whip a fragrant and fabulous massaman curry with Novotel Phuket Karon Beach’s Executive Chef Cyril Mougin.

Rafles and Chef Cyril cooking up a storm at Novotel Phuket Karon Beach

He got hot tips from the cool locals at Phuket’s many foodie street markets.

Curry stand at Walking Street Market Phuket Old Town

From morning to night my human compactus gobbled his way through a rainbow of colourful curries. There were several standouts including yellow curry crab, a ridiculously tasty local concoction of noodles, chunks of fresh crabmeat and fiery curry sauce. But his all time favourite still remains a fiery Thai style red duck curry and, given I collect recipes on our travels the way most folk collect souvenir tea towels, I made sure I nabbed one from someone in the know!

The only condition of my whipping up some of the spicy Thai staple at home is that due to my inherent laziness, Raffles is being held responsible for red curry paste production…

Raffles pounds red curry paste

Though that may have been a mistake as I swear he slipped in a couple of extra chillies while I wasn’t looking.

Thai Style Red Duck Curry

 Thai Style Red Duck Curry

Ingredients

  • 270ml coconut cream
  • 135 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. palm sugar
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup Thai eggplant cut into large chunks (any eggplant can be substituted)
  • 3 fresh Kaffir lime leaves, diced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, sliced lengthways
  • 1 can lychees, drained
  • ½ cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh Thai basil leaves
  • Steamed Jasmine Rice, to serve
  • curry paste:
  • 8 dried red chillies, soaked in warm water, drained
  • 1 fresh Birdseye chilli, roughly chopped
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. finely sliced fresh lemongrass
  • 1 tsp. finely sliced fresh galangal
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh coriander roots
  • Grated rind of one lime
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. rock salt
  • 1 tsp. shrimp paste

Instructions

  1. To make curry paste, place cumin, coriander and peppercorns in a frying pan and dry fry over medium heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Using a mortar and pestle pound chillies, onion, lemon grass and galangal until crushed. Add garlic, coriander roots and lime rind, then dry ingredients and shrimp paste, and pound until very smooth.
  2. In an ovenproof frypan cook duck breast skin side down for two minutes, or until crisp, then turn and place in medium oven for five minutes.
  3. Remove and set aside to rest.
  4. Heat a wok over medium heat and add 4 tbsp. of the coconut cream, cooking until it separates.
  5. Add two tbsp. of curry paste and cook, stirring continuously, for four to five minutes or until mixture is fragrant and soft.
  6. Add remaining coconut cream, coconut milk, fish sauce, palm sugar and bring to the boil.
  7. Reduce heat to a simmer then add duck, tomato, eggplant and lime leaves.
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes then stir in lychees, pineapple chunks and sliced red chilli.
  9. Add Thai basil only after the curry is off the heat to stop the leaves turning black.
  10. Serve with steamed rice.
http://boyeatsworld.com.au/2016/05/02/turning-heat-thai-style-red-duck-curry/

 

17 Comments on Turning up the heat on Thai Style Red Duck Curry

  1. Kathy
    May 3, 2016 at 9:56 am (1 year ago)

    I’m salivating already Aleney (and Raffles). I’ve never used the dried chillies whole so will have to try. I usually just add fresh chilli and then hubby adds in chilli flakes because he likes it super-hot. Just love the lemon grass, kaffir lime, galangal and coriander combo.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      May 4, 2016 at 7:13 pm (1 year ago)

      It’s the best! The dried whole chilli’s really kick the heat and flavour up a notch!

      Reply
  2. Vanessa
    May 3, 2016 at 1:57 pm (1 year ago)

    That looks great! I would love to learn more Thai cooking.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      May 4, 2016 at 7:14 pm (1 year ago)

      It’s really much easier than it looks. I love cooking Thai.

      Reply
  3. Hugzillablog
    May 3, 2016 at 4:37 pm (1 year ago)

    A good Thai curry is one of my deadset FAVOURITE things in the world. I still mourn the day we moved out of the inner west and no longer had access to Thai on Wok, the best takeaway Thai in the entire world. I am drooling over your pic right now.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      May 4, 2016 at 7:16 pm (1 year ago)

      Mine too. Maybe you’ll have to Come To the Eats World Cafe one night for one of ours. 😉

      Reply
  4. Ian
    May 5, 2016 at 6:30 am (1 year ago)

    I love how you are teaching the boy how to cook! Such an essential lesson that many children are unfortunately not being taught. Thankyou for sharing the awesome recipe!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      May 7, 2016 at 8:29 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks Ian. The kids love joining me in the kitchen

      Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      May 7, 2016 at 8:30 am (1 year ago)

      He’s a paste maker extraordinaire Lorraine. And far cheaper than a food processor.

      Reply
  5. Amy @ HandbagMafia
    May 7, 2016 at 8:26 am (1 year ago)

    I love duck but am hopeless at cooking it- might give this a whirl- looks amazing!

    Reply
  6. Cristin @ Between Roots and Wings
    May 7, 2016 at 8:43 am (1 year ago)

    That looks insanely good! (Though, I think I’d have to turn the spicy waaaay down, despite the generous health benefits 😉 ).

    Reply
  7. Kylie Purtell
    May 7, 2016 at 5:04 pm (1 year ago)

    This looks divine! Dave is obsessed with chilli, so much so that he has started growing his own. And like Raffles he likes it hot too! I am going to show him this because he has been searching for new recipes to use with his homegrown chillis and I think he would have as much fun cooking this as I will eating it!
    #teamIBOT

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      May 8, 2016 at 9:24 pm (1 year ago)

      I hope he likes it as much as we do!

      Reply
  8. Christie
    May 7, 2016 at 5:47 pm (1 year ago)

    Looks great! My hubby is the heat lover in this house and he is going to love this recipe, thank you.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      May 8, 2016 at 9:11 pm (1 year ago)

      Hope you both enjoy it as much as we did

      Reply
  9. Evans Gathaku
    June 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm (1 year ago)

    Looks so delicious! Will give it a try.

    Reply

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