Braised Balinese Duck

Slow cooked to spicy perfection, Ken Hom's mouth-watering Braised Balinese Duck makes a moreish and truly memorable feast
By Ken Hom
Braised Balinese Duck
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 2.75 kg duck, fresh or frozen

For the spice paste:

  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 6 shallots
  • 3 tbsp ginger or galangal, coarsely chopped
  • 6 red chillies, deseeded
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp water

Tips and Suggestions

Traditionally, the duck is stuffed with cassava leaves. These can be difficult to find outside Bali, so in this recipe they have been omitted, although this doesn't compromise the authentic flavour.

The lovely savoury spices make a delicious contrast to the rich duck meat, producing a truly memorable feast. Serve this dish with plain rice.


1. Set the oven to 170°C/ gas 3. Rinse the duck well and blot it completely dry with kitchen paper.

2. Peel off the tough outer layers of the lemon grass stalks, leaving the tender whitish centre. Crush them with the flat of a knife, and then cut them into 7cm pieces.

3. Place the lemon grass, garlic, shallots, ginger, chilli, lime juice, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, shrimp paste, black pepper, salt, sesame oil and water in a food processor and blend them until they form a fairly smooth paste.

4. Transfer the spice paste to a saucepan over a low heat and simmer over a low heat for about 5 minutes, until thoroughly cooked. Add more water if the paste begins to stick to the pan.

5. Rub the paste over the duck, inside and out. Then carefully wrap the duck in several layers of kitchen foil, sealing it well.

6. Place the wrapped duck on a wire rack, set in a roasting pan, pour a little water into the tin to prevent the fat splattering and cook for 1 hour.

7. Then turn the heat down to 140°C/ gas 1. Cook the duck for a further 2 hours.

8. Remove the duck from the oven, unwrap it and pour any juices into a heatproof jug. Allow this to stand for a few minutes, and then discard the surface fat, saving the juices.

9. Leave the duck to stand for at least 10 minutes before you carve it. Using a clever or a sharp knife cut the skin and meat into pieces; it should be very tender.

10. Arrange the meat on a warm platter, pour the juices over the pieces and serve with boiled rice.

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