We usually make red curry of duck with the meat of a barbecued duck purchased from Chinatown after the duck has been relieved of its skin for duck pancakes. There is no reason why you should not use a duck you have cooked yourself, and there is no reason why the skin shouldn’t go into the curry! That said, the spices added to a Chinatown duck do give it an extra dimension – and of course it is so much easier!
This is a Thai curry and Thai curries don’t normally have vegetables in them. However somehow onion wedges seem to have crept into ours and they do give the curry a nice crunch.
For the sweet element, we use either lychees in syrup or John West mandarin segments in syrup. Both work well.
1 onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 x 400ml can coconut cream
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
1½ tablespoons Thai red curry paste
Meat (and skin, optional) from 1 Chinese roast duck, cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or to taste)
1 can lychees in syrup, or 1 can mandarins in syrup
A few kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon coriander, roots, stems and leaves finely chopped
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok and cook the onion wedges until transparent but still crunchy. Remove from wok and set aside. Tip excess oil from the wok.
Tip the coconut cream into the wok and cook until it cracks. (Cook until the oil separates from the cream.) Add the red curry paste and cook for about 1 minute, then gradually add the coconut milk. Bring slowly to the boil.
Drain the lychees or mandarins but don’t discard the liquid.
Add the reserved onion wedges, the duck meat, the lychees or mandarins (but not the syrup), the fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves and coriander.
Test for balance of flavours. If not salty enough, add more fish sauce. If not sweet enough, add a little of the syrup from the fruit.
Serve with jasmine rice.