Twice-Cooked Duck Curry

Serve this Thai-style curry fragrant with herbs, spices and coconut cream over plain rice
Twice-Cooked Duck Curry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 3.3333333333333335 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 corn-fed duck, washed, dried and trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 star anise
  • 1-2 cassia bark
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 sticks lemongrass
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • steamed rice, to serve

For the paste

  • 7 dried long red chillies
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, roasted
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg, roasted
  • 4-5 Thai shallots
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped galangal
  • 1 tbsp chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp scraped and chopped coriander roots

For the curry sauce

  • 750 ml coconut cream
  • fish sauce, to taste
  • palm sugar, to taste

To garnish

  • 75 g onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 dried long red chillies
  • 25 g Thai basil or coriander, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 limes, finely sliced


1. Put the duck and sweet potato into a steamer basket over a water-filled wok.

2. Put the star anise, cassia, spring onions and lemon grass into the water, then bring the water to the boil, reduce the heat and cover the wok.

3. After 10-15 minutes the sweet potato should be tender. Remove it from the steamer, then replace the cover and continue to steam the duck for another 2 hours 45 minutes or until tender.

4. Remove the duck from the steamer, reserving the steaming liquid.

5. Joint the duck and discard the carcass.

6. For the paste: using a mortar and pestle or food processor, grind the paste ingredients, adding one after another in the order in which they are given, until all are combined into a stiff paste.

7. For the curry sauce: stir the coconut cream into the paste and then fry the paste until fragrant.

8. Add a little steaming liquid until the paste is a medium thick sauce.

9. Stir in a little palm sugar and fish sauce to taste until you achieve a balance of sweet and salty.

10. Heat some sunflower oil in a wok until smoking and deep-fry the jointed duck till crisp.

11. Drain the duck and add to the curry sauce along with the steamed sweet potatoes. Keep the curry warm while you prepare the garnish.

12. For the garnish: heat a little sunflower oil in the wok and fry the onion, garlic and dried chilli until crisp.

13. Sprinkle the curry with the fried garnish, chopped Thai basil and lime slices and serve with steamed rice.

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