Red Curry of Duck & Pineapple


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

There is something agreeable about the combination of rich red curry, succulent duck and sweet pineapple. It just tastes so good and the texture is perfect — I suppose that’s what makes it a classic. You can add some heat to this by cooking the paste with a few squashed wild green chillies; or for a fresh finish, a squeeze of lime is great at the end. You can buy roast duck at Chinatowns around the world or make your own.


  • 1 Chinese roast duck, boned and cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) chunks
  • 200 g (7 oz) red curry paste
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grated palm sugar (jaggery)
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) coconut milk
  • 3 long red chillies, halved lengthways and deseeded
  • 160 g (5⅔ oz/1 cup) chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 handful of sweet Thai basil leaves
  • 1 lime, to squeeze


In a heavy-based frying pan over high heat, bring the coconut cream and vegetable oil to the boil, stirring continuously so that it doesn’t burn. When the coconut cream ‘splits’ (the oil separates from the solids), add the curry paste. Crush the lime leaves in your hand, add them to the pan and fry until all the aromas rise from the paste and it is sizzling fiercely. This will take 10–15 minutes (use your nose).

Add the fish sauce and cook for 1 minute. Then add the palm sugar and the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Add the duck and chillies and simmer gently for about 4 minutes until the duck has heated through, then add the pineapple. Stir in the basil with a little squeeze of fresh lime juice before serving.