Roast duck and lychee red curry

Roast duck and lychee red curry

Have You Eaten
Billy Law

Sydney is blessed with a plethora of Thai restaurants — there seems to be a Thai restaurant on every street corner in every suburb. I’ve been to Thailand numerous times and I think the Thai food in Sydney is almost just as good! This roast duck curry is one of my favourite Thai dishes. I love how the sweet lychees work so well with the heat of the curry and the gamey roast duck. The red curry paste is the soul of this dish, so it is important to take your time and cook it with love. Once you’ve got the paste right, the rest is a walk in the park.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
300ml tinned coconut cream
150g tinned lychees, drained, reserving 250 ml of the syrup
500g roast duck or use a store-bought duck, chopped into bite-sized pieces
100g cherry tomatoes
4 baby corn, cut into small pieces
10 snow peas
fish sauce, to taste
lime juice, squeezed
2 kaffir lime leaves, rolled and thinly sliced

Red curry paste

Quantity Ingredient
4 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained
8 large red chillies, (seeded if preferred)
4 french shallots, peeled
2 lemongrass stalks, white parts only
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
5 cm piece galangal, peeled and sliced
10g belachan, toasted, (see note)
2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
5 candlenuts, roasted, (see note)
pinch ground white pepper
2 tablespoons fish sauce
125ml tinned coconut milk


  1. To make the red curry paste, put all the ingredients in a food processor and process to form a fine paste.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat and fry the curry paste for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the coconut cream and reserved lychee syrup and bring to the boil, then add the duck meat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lychees, cherry tomatoes, baby corn and snow peas, cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Season the curry with fish sauce and a squeeze of lime juice, to taste. Transfer the curry to a large serving bowl and garnish with lime leaves. Serve with steamed rice.


  • Belachan, or belacan, is a dried shrimp paste that has quite an offensive pungent aroma when it is cooking, so make sure the kitchen is well ventilated before toasting it.

    Candlenuts give the dish a nutty flavour and creamy texture. You can find them at Asian grocers, or substitute cashew or macadamia nuts if unavailable.
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