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Thai Red Curry with Duck, Lychees, Sweet Basil and Coriander Served with Jasmine Rice

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A rich and creamy Thai red coconut curry with slow cooked duck, sweet lychees, loaded with sweet basil and coriander and served with delicately aromatic Jasmine rice.

Notes on Ingredients:

Duck –

This classical curry is normally made with Chinese roast duck but I made it with the duck I had left over from the slow roast duck I posted on Monday, and it worked perfectly. The key is to use melt in the mouth, fall apart, slow cooked duck. There is no where near as much meat on a duck than a chicken of an equivalent size, so lots of leftovers are rare. My roast duck weighed 2.25kg. We had eaten two portions with our roast meal and had just under 400g to use in this curry. However:

  • If you want to slow roast a duck specifically to make this dish, please see here for details.
  • Alternatively, if you have some duck leftover, but not quite enough, consider adding courgette and red pepper/capsicum to the curry. Details in the recipe below.

Lychees –

I used tinned lychees; I couldn’t get find fresh locally and travelling is somewhat restricted at the moment. They work really well but if you prefer, this recipe is also delicious with fresh pineapple instead.

However, if you can find fresh lychees, remember that lychees do not continue to ripen after picking; so choose a firm, mature fruit, with a deep red skin colour and those without a split skin.

Red Curry Paste –

I either make my own or I buy it from a local Asian store. I like Maesri or Mae Ploy. However, at the moment I am using a paste from My Pop-up Kitchen – a small catering business in SW London which also sells Thai and Indonesian curry pastes. They are amazing, truly authentic and are available on line, as well as in local shops. 10% of their profits are donated to Vision Rescue, a Mumbai-based organisation that helps children and adults to get off the streets by providing meals, informal education, medical assistance, safe houses and restoring dignity to the marginalised.

Coconut Milk –

I also buy this from my local Asian store. Although widely available in the UK, I find the supermarket versions slightly less rich and creamy but they are absolutely fine if that is all you can get.

Palm Sugar –

Available at the local Asian store but it is also available in most large supermarkets. If you cannot get it, replace with brown sugar.

Fish Sauce –

Available at the local Asian store and in most large supermarkets. If you cannot get it, replace with ½ light soy sauce and ½ lime juice or rice vinegar.

Kaffir Lime Leaves –

I buy these from my local Asian store. They are normally frozen and can be used from frozen. Most large supermarkets stock dried lime leaves if you cannot get the frozen ones. If you cannot get them, replace with ½ bay leaves and some lime zest.

Herbs –

You can use Thai basil in this curry but I rather like a combination of sweet basil and coriander, for a change.

How to make Thai Red Curry with Duck, Lychees, Sweet Basil and Coriander served with Jasmine Rice

Collect all your ingredients together:

  • coconut oil
  • Thai red curry paste
  • coconut milk
  • palm sugar
  • fish sauce
  • slow cooked duck, ideally Chinese
  • lychees
  • kaffir lime leaves
  • Thai sweet basil leaves, OR
  • sweet basil leaves
  • chopped coriander

How to make the curry:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the red curry paste. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring regularly, until aromatic.
  2. Add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves and stir well to mix. Cook for 5 – 6 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
  4. Add the duck and lychees and continue to cook until everything is piping hot.
  5. Remove the kaffir lime leaves and stir in the fresh herbs.
  6. Serve immediately with Jasmine rice and garnished with more herbs and sliced red chilli.

Made this recipe?

If you make this recipe, do please tag me on instagram @daffodil_kitchen. You could also leave a comment in the box directly below the recipe.

Thai Red Curry with Duck, Lychees, Sweet Basil and Coriander Served with Jasmine Rice

A rich and creamy Thai red coconut curry with slow cooked duck, sweet lychees, loaded with sweet basil and coriander and served with delicately aromatic Jasmine rice. Serves 3 – 4

Course Dinner, Lunch, Supper
Cuisine Thai
Keyword duck, lychees
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the curry:

  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 30g/2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 15g/1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 350g – 400g slow cooked duck, ideally Chinese duck, in small slices (See Recipe Notes on options)
  • 8 lychees, halved (See Recipe Notes)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 20g Thai sweet basil leaves, OR (See Recipe Notes)
  • 15g sweet basil leaves
  • 5g chopped coriander

To serve:

  • Jasmine rice
  • chopped coriander
  • sliced red chilli

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the red curry paste. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring regularly, until aromatic.

  2. Add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer.

  3. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves and stir well to mix. Cook for 5 – 6 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

  4. Add the duck and lychees and continue to cook until everything is piping hot.

  5. Remove the kaffir lime leaves and stir in the fresh herbs.

  6. Serve immediately with steamed or coconut Jasmine rice, garnished with coriander and sliced red chilli.

Recipe Notes

Equipment:

  • Cast iron casserole/Dutch oven/frying pan/saucepan or wok
  • Chopping board and knife
  • Kitchen scales and measuring spoons

Duck

This classical curry is normally made with Chinese roast duck but I made it with the duck I had left over from my slow roast duck. The key is to use melt in the mouth, fall apart, slow cooked duck. There is no where near as much meat on a duck than a chicken of an equivalent size, so lots of leftovers are rare. My roast duck weighed 2.25kg. We had eaten two portions with our roast meal and had just under 400g to use in this curry. However:

  • If you want to slow roast a duck specifically to make this dish, please see here for details.
  • Alternatively, if you have some duck leftover, but not quite enough, consider adding courgette and red pepper/capsicum to the curry. 
  • Add small wedges of courgette at point 3 and cook for 5-6 minutes before adding the duck
  • Add thinly sliced red pepper/capsicum to the curry with the duck and lychees or pineapple at point 4. 

Lychees

I used tinned lychees; I couldn’t get find fresh locally. They work really well but if you prefer, this recipe is also delicious with fresh pineapple instead.

However, if you can find fresh lychees, remember that lychees do not continue to ripen after picking; so choose a firm, mature fruit, with a deep red skin colour and those without a split skin.

Herbs

You can use Thai basil in this curry but I rather like a combination of sweet basil and coriander, for a change.

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