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Bebek betutu

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for bebek betutu.

By Alice Storey
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 4 hrs 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Bebek betutu
This Balinese specialty is traditionally wrapped in banana leaves and coconut bark, then cooked long and slow over coals. If you can't find banana leaves, just use foil. Begin this recipe a day ahead to marinate the duck.


  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 duck (about 1.8kg)
  • 6 red shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 15 gm galangal, finely chopped
  • 10 gm ginger, finely chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 4 candlenuts (see note)
  • 2 lemongrass stalks (white part only), coarsely chopped
  • 2 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 40 gm light palm sugar
  • 1 cm piece turmeric, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp each black peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds, coarsely ground
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 300 gm baby spinach
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 2-3 banana leaves, for wrapping (see note)
  • To serve: steamed rice, thinly sliced cucumber and tomato, and coriander


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180C. Wrap shrimp paste in foil and roast until pungent (6-8 minutes). Set aside to cool.
  • 2
    Rinse duck well under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Process shallots, garlic, galangal, ginger, lime leaves, candlenuts, lemongrass, chillies, lime juice, palm sugar, turmeric, pepper, coriander, cumin and nutmeg in a food processor to a smooth paste. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add paste and fry until fragrant and colour begins to change (2-3 minutes). Set aside to cool. Reserve 2 tbsp of paste and rub remaining over duck, cover and refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 180C. Blanch spinach until just wilted (20 seconds), drain, refresh and chop. Combine spinach with reserved paste and stuff into duck cavity along with cinnamon. Skewer the cavity closed, wrap duck in banana leaves (cut to cover if necessary), then in foil and roast for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 120C and roast until tender (3½-4 hours). Place duck in an oven tray, pour pan juices into a small saucepan and reduce over medium-high heat until slightly thickened (10-12 minutes).
  • 4
    Preheat grill to high and grill duck until skin is golden (4-5 minutes).
  • 5
    Serve duck hot with pan juices poured over, steamed rice, and cucumber, coriander and tomato to the side.


Drink Suggestion: Old sparkling “Burgundy”. Drink suggestion by Max Allen