Made with tender duck breasts and beautiful sweet lychees, this mild red Thai curry is made fragrant with the addition of citrus scented Kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil. You can serve it as is with jasmine rice or add little side of quick cucumber pickles.
3 duck breast fillets, skin on
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 tbs red curry paste
400ml coconut milk
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs palm sugar
225g tinned bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
560g tinned lychees, drained
1 tbs kaffir lime leaves, spine removed and finely shredded
2 tbs thai basil leaves
1 large red chilli, sliced (seed may be omitted if you wish a milder curry)
Render and cook the duck: Score the duck breast skins into a cross pattern and lightly season. Take a cold non-stick frying pan and place on a moderate heat. Place the duck breast skin side down in the pan (you don’t need any oil as the duck will release its own fat).
Cook the duck skin side down for 5 to 10 minutes (dependent on the amount of fat on your duck breast) and then drain off the excess fat into another pan or bowl. Use tongs to lift your duck and check that the skin is turning golden brown. Once it has changed colour, turn your duck breast over and cook on the flesh side for 3-4 minutes. Remove duck breasts and place them on a warm plate so that the duck can rest for around 5 minutes.
Once rested, take a sharp carving knife and slice the meat and set aside. Note: duck may still be raw in the centre, but will be cooked through in the next steps. It is more important that the duck fat is rendered and the skin thin and crisp at this stage.
In a wok, heat the oil and fry the curry paste until slightly dried out and fragrant. Add half the coconut milk, palm sugar, and fish sauce, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce is condensed.
Add duck and gently cook until done, add lychees, bamboo shoots, and stir in remaining coconut milk, lime leaves, chili and basil leaves, bring back to a simmer and then serve with steamed rice.