The art of thai curries - and the reason why we keep coming back to them - is the way they combine different flavours and textures in the one dish to create a harmonious whole. This dish is a perfect example of that skill; blending sweet, savoury and spicy ingredients with rich coconut milk.
Red curry paste
15 dried long red chillies
1 tbsp white peppercorns
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp shrimp paste
5, chopped red Asian shallots
10 cloves, chopped garlic
2 stems, white part only, finely sliced lemon grass
1 tbsp chopped galangal
2 tbsp chopped root coriander
1 tsp finely grated kaffir lime zest
1 tbsp peanut oil
8 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal into 3cm lengths
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Chinese roast duck, chopped into large pieces
400ml coconut milk
450g tinned pineapple pieces in syrup, drained
3 kaffir lime leaves
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp chopped mint
1. Soak the chillies in boiling water for 5 minutes, or until soft. Remove the stem and seeds, then chop. Dry-fry the peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and shrimp paste wrapped in foil in a frying pan over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. Allow to cool. Using a mortar with a pestle, or a spice grinder, crush or grind the peppercorns, coriander and cumin to a powder.
2. Put the chopped chillies, shrimp paste and ground spices with the remaining curry paste ingredients in a food processor, or in a mortar with a pestle, and process or pound to a smooth paste.
3. Heat a wok until very hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the side. Add the onion, garlic and 2-4 tablespoons made red curry paste, and stir-fry for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
4. Add the roast duck pieces, coconut milk, drained pineapple pieces, makrut leaves, and half the coriander and mint. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the duck is heated through and the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the remaining coriander and mint, and serve.