Quick Duck Curry


Some years ago, Cherry Valley Farms invited me to demonstrate how to prepare a duck quickly and, of course, in a way that preserved the delicious qualities of this popular game bird. Fortunately, I was able to draw upon Thai traditions and thus to devise this recipe for duck with curry. It is not only easily and quickly made but does indeed preserve all of the duck’s virtues. Having a more assertive flavour than, say, chicken, duck stands up nicely to green curry and other Thai seasonings.

Serve this dish with plain rice and a salad for a complete and very satisfying dinner.


  • 450 g (1 lb) boneless duck breasts, skinned
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 225 g (8 oz) finely sliced onions
  • 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) tinned coconut milk
  • 4 large fresh red Thai chillies, seeded and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • handful fresh coriander leaves


Cut the duck breasts into thick slices 4 cm ( in) long. Put the duck slices into a bowl and add the salt, black pepper, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and cornflour. Mix well and let the slices steep in the marinade for about 15 minutes.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is very hot. Add the groundnut oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the duck and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Remove the duck and drain it in a stainless-steel colander set inside a bowl, leaving behind about tablespoons of oil in the wok.

Reheat the wok over high heat, add the onions and stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add the curry paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Slowly drizzle in the coconut milk, stirring all the while. Then add the chillies, fish sauce and sugar. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Return the duck to the wok or pan, stir to mix well, toss in the coriander leaves and serve at once.