Thai Red Duck Curry

I know, I know, I promised I was going to get up to date on my posts. Well it turned out I wasn’t quite as recovered as I had hoped, plus we’ve been travelling and my son had surgery (it all went great) so I’ve been a bit distracted. So no promises this time, but I will do my best. Let’s start here…

Duck is one of my favourite meats but it is usually a bit prohibitively expensive so I was pretty happy to recently discover lovely fresh duck breasts at my local Korean grocer for not too much money.  Last month I overenthusiastically bought *a few* more than I needed and popped them in the freezer.

Last week in a moment of excitement I defrosted a couple and then realised I didn’t have a dish in mind, didn’t have all the ingredients for any experimenting, had a heap of vegetables that needed to be used up, and it was almost dinner time… Thai Red Curry to the rescue. I love Red Duck Curry so this was no hardship.

Red Curry is my favourite of all Thai Coconut Curries, though it is a little like choosing your favourite child, they’re all delicious. It’s very easy to prepare, and if you’re not as addicted to duck as I am feel free to substitute chicken.

red duck curry

Thai Red Duck Curry

Serves 4 (GF, DF)


  • 220 grams White Rice
  • 2 large Duck Breasts (approx 700gm total) cut in half
  • 4 Cups chopped mixed vegetables: (choose from)
    • Red Peppers (Capsicum)
    • Mangue Tout (Snow Peas)
    • Baby Corn
    • Bok Choy
    • Bamboo Shoots
    • Carrot
  • 20 grams Oil (coconut, peanut, or rice bran)
  • 30 grams Red Curry Paste (I prefer Mae Ploy brand)
  • 400 grams Coconut Cream (tinned or home made)
  • 80 grams Water
  • 1 Tbl (20 ml) Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbl (20 ml) Lime Juice
  • 1 Tbl (20 ml) Brown Sugar (or palm sugar)
  • 2 Kaffir Limes Leaves (dry or fresh)
  • 8+ Lychees (tinned or fresh), (you can substitute Pineapple)
  • 8 Baby/Cherry Tomatoes
  • Handful of Thai Basil (substitute coriander if unavailable)

Useful Items

  • Baking/Parchment Paper
  • Small frying pan
  1. Line Varoma tray with baking paper which has been scrunched and well wet. Place duck pieces onto the tray and place into the Varoma.
  2. Add 1 litre water (TM5 use 1.2L) into the cooking bowl. Insert steamer basket and weigh in 220 grams rice. Place Varoma on top and steam 18 minutes, Varoma temp, Sp 2.5 (TM5 use Sp 4).
  3. When finished, set rice aside and keep warm. Place the duck onto a small tray and cover to rest (you can sit it over the rice to benefit from the warmth, I put both into the microwave with the door shut). Drain water from TM bowl and discard the baking paper from the Varoma.
  4. Place harder vegetables (carrot, bamboo shoots, baby corn) into the Varoma. Place remaining vegetables and fruit onto the clean Varoma tray.
  5. Add 20gm oil and 30 grams red curry paste to the cooking bowl. Cook 1 1/2 minutes, 100 degrees, Sp 1.5.
  6. Add 100 grams of coconut cream (use the thicker cream from the top). Cook 2 minutes, 100 degrees, Sp 1.
  7. Add remaining coconut cream, 1 Tbl Fish Sauce, 1 Tbl Lime Juice, 1 Tbl sugar, 2 kaffir lime leaves and half the fresh herbs. Place Varoma on top (without the tray at this point). Steam 10 minutes, Varoma temp, Sp 2. When 3 minutes of time is remaining quickly and carefully insert the Varoma tray.
  8. While the curry sauce is cooking heat a small pan. Fry the duck skin side down to brown and crisp the skin (nb if you’re not going to eat the skin you don’t need to do this, just remove and discard the skin from the breasts). Cut into about 1 cm thick slices.
  9. To serve dish rice into a bowl, add the steamed fruit and vegetables, lay the duck slices over the top. Generously pour curry sauce over and garnish with the remaining Thai Basil, coarsely ripped.

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