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Tropical duck curry
Tropical duck curry


  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 6 duck legs (we used Canter Valley)
  • 1 large red onion, finely sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 dried red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • ½ pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 3cm chunks
  • 2 bananas, cut into thick slices
  • 500g green beans, blanched
  • Banana leaves, to serve (optional – see Cook’s Notes)

Tropical duck curry

Sarah Bowman
  • Serving size: Serves 6
  • Cooking time: More than 2 hours

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat sesame oil in a large casserole dish and brown the duck legs in batches until golden. Remove duck from dish and set aside.

Add the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, bayleaves and whole spices to the casserole and cook over a low heat until soft. Return duck to dish and add the brown sugar, fi sh sauce, shrimp paste and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper, cover with a lid and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Check after half an hour and add water if necessary to almost cover the duck.

Remove from oven, stir in the pineapple and leave to cool. Refrigerate overnight (see Cook’s Notes).

Remove from the fridge and scoop off and discard the solidifi ed fat layer. Reheat on the stove until bubbling, then add the bananas and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Toss through the blanched beans, then serve in banana leaf lined bowls and season with a little freshly ground black pepper.

Cook's tips

- This curry can also be made with chicken instead of duck. If you like, serve it with rice or egg noodles.

- Banana leaves are available frozen from Asian food stores. Thaw, cut to fit bowls and return remaining leaves to the freezer.

- If you prefer to cook this and eat it straightaway, skim off the duck fat after 1 hour in the oven, before adding the pineapple. However, the flavour improves overnight.

- If making the curry with chicken, reduce the initial cooking time to 30 minutes, then add pineapple, cool and refrigerate. Continue the next day as for the duck.

Article from the October, 2011 issue of Taste magazine.

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