Jungle curry of duck

Jungle curry of duck.
Jungle curry of duck. Photo: Jennifer Soo

We have used whole duck legs in this recipe - they look great but require a long cooking time to become tender. You can use duck-leg meat and simmer for about 30 minutes if you prefer.


5 small green (scud) chillis

1 long green chilli

6 garlic cloves, peeled

30g ginger, peeled

20g lemongrass stalk (about 1)

100g french shallot or spanish onion

3 coriander roots, scrubbed clean

⅓ cup vegetable oil

2-3 tbsp fish sauce

750ml chicken stock

4 duck marylands, trimmed

½ cup pea eggplants, tops removed

12 apple eggplants, tops removed and quartered

350g snake beans, cut into 3cm lengths

6 makrut lime leaves, torn

1 cup Thai basil leaves, loosely packed 


To make the curry paste, roughly chop the chilli, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and onion or shallot. Pound in a mortar and pestle until reduced to a pulp* (see tip). Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry paste until fragrant and browned. Stir to prevent catching. Add fish sauce and stock and bring to a simmer.

Add duck legs and simmer gently for 1½ hours.

Skim fat off the top. Add eggplants, snake beans and lime leaves and cook for three minutes.

Serve with Thai or holy basil and rice.

*Tip: The traditional way to make a Thai curry paste is in a mortar and pestle. Add ingredients one at a time, pounding each item to a fine pulp before adding the next. Start with the hardest ingredients and end with the softest. Pounding releases the fragrance of the ingredients and allows you to adjust the recipe as you go. It gives a superior result but takes a long time. Alternatively, you can blend ingredients with a stick blender, adding a little water or oil to help the process or pass ingredients through a mincer several times until you achieve a fine paste.