Chef's Recipes

Neil Perry: Red curry of duck and pineapple

Australian Gourmet Traveller Chinese recipe for Neil Perry's red curry of duck and pineapple.

By Neil Perry
  • Serves 4
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
Neil Perry: Red curry of duck and pineapple
Neil Perry: Red curry of duck and pineapple

There is something agreeable about the combination of red curry, duck and pineapple – I suppose that’s why it’s a classic. Add some heat by cooking the paste with a few squashed wild green chillies; or for a fresh finish, a squeeze of lime is great. You can buy roast duck at your local Chinatown or make your own.

This recipe is from Neil Perry’s cookbook Balance and Harmony: Asian Food (Murdoch Books, $125, hbk).


  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut cream
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 200 gm good-quality red curry paste (see note)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp grated palm sugar
  • 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk
  • 1 Chinese roast duck, boned and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 3 long red chillies, halved lengthways, seeds removed
  • 160 gm chopped pineapple (¼ small peeled pineapple)
  • Handful of Thai basil leaves
  • 1 lime, to squeeze


  • 1
    In a frying pan over high heat, bring the coconut cream and vegetable oil to the boil, stirring continuously so that it doesn’t burn. When the coconut cream ‘splits’ (the oil separates from the solids), add the curry paste. Crush the lime leaves in your hand, add them to the pan and fry until all the aromas rise from the paste and it is sizzling fiercely. This will take 10-15 minutes (use your nose). Add the fish sauce and cook for 1 minute. Then add the palm sugar and the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Add the duck and chillies and simmer gently until the duck has heated through (about 4 minutes), then add the pineapple. Stir in the basil with a little squeeze of lime juice before serving.


Neil Perry makes his own red curry paste. You can find the recipe in his book. Alternatively, use a good-quality paste from Asian supermarkets.

  • Author: Neil Perry