Red Thai duck curry

I used to order this curry at a Thai restaurant all the time until I decided to make my own version. It’s the perfect dish for a winter dinner, with the curry paste infusing the duck breast with fiery flavour.

By Nici Wickes
  • 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 2 - 4
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If you love this red Thai duck curry, check out more of our favourite curry recipes - they're so easy to prepare but full of punchy flavours.


  • 1 small eggplant
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 duck breasts, skin on, patted dry and salted
  • 2 tbsp store-bought red curry paste
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1-2 red chillies, de-seeded
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp palm or brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup red grapes, halved
  • A handful of green beans, trimmed
  • 1 juicy lime, to serve
  • Few sprigs of Thai or regular basil
  • Bean sprouts
  • Brown Jasmine rice, to serve


  • 1
    Halve the eggplant length-wise, then slice into semi-circles. Brush with oil.
  • 2
    Heat a medium-sized saucepan (or wok) to medium-hot and fry the oiled eggplant until browned on one side. Turn and cook to colour the other side. Remove and set aside.
  • 3
    Pat duck breasts dry. With a sharp knife, make a criss-cross pattern in the skin and salt both sides well. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan to medium and carefully lay the breasts, skin-side down, in the pan. Lower the heat and cook until the skin is crisp and much of the fat has rendered – about 8-10 minutes. Turn and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, then rest for 10 minutes before cutting into 1cm-thick slices. Drain off all but 1 tbsp of duck fat from the saucepan (save it for roasting potatoes!) and fry the spice paste for 2 minutes. Add the kaffir leaves and chilli, then pour over the coconut milk. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, then taste – add some sugar if you feel it needs it.
  • 4
    Add the eggplant, grapes, beans and duck, simmering until the beans are just cooked.
  • 5
    Ladle into bowls, squeeze over the lime juice and garnish with the basil. Serve with the bean sprouts and rice.


I used to make my own curry pastes, but now I prefer to buy a small jar of quality paste and have it on standby in the fridge – it lasts forever!

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