Chef's Recipes

Red duck curry

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for red duck curry by Hungry Duck restaurant in Berry, NSW.

  • 35 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 40 mins cooking plus soaking, cooling
  • Serves 4
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Red duck curry
"The red curry at Berry's Hungry Duck rivals my mum's. Would you please request the recipe?" - Suchin Charoenkul, Wollongong, NSW
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email All requests should include the restaurant's name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


  • 1 duck (about 2kg)
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 400 ml each coconut milk and coconut cream
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 60 gm palm sugar, crushed
  • 50 ml fish sauce
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • ½ daikon, sliced into rounds, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • For dusting: plain flour
  • 150 gm peas
  • 4 king brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • To serve: coriander, steamed jasmine rice and lime wedges (optional)
Red curry paste
  • 2 star anise
  • 1½ cinnamon quills
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1½ tsp each cumin seeds and coriander seeds
  • 40 gm galangal, finely chopped (8cm piece)
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 5 coriander roots, scraped, soaked to remove dirt (5-10 minutes)
  • 10 gm large dried chillies, soaked in warm water until soft (20 minutes)
  • Finely grated rind of 1 kaffir lime
  • 60 gm shrimp paste
  • 1½ tbsp sweet paprika


  • 1
    Rinse duck under cold running water and pat dry with absorbent paper. Place spring onion and cinnamon in cavity, rub duck skin with Sichuan pepper and 1 tsp fine sea salt, place in a large steamer over simmering water and steam until skin shrinks away from thigh (1 hour). Set aside to cool, remove breasts and legs with a sharp knife and set aside (reserve carcass for stock or another use).
  • 2
    For red curry paste, preheat oven to 100C. Roast star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, and cumin and coriander seeds on a baking tray until fragrant (3-5 minutes). Pound in a mortar and pestle until finely ground and set aside. Process galangal and lemongrass in a food processor until finely ground, transfer to a bowl and set aside. Process garlic, onion, coriander root and chilli in a food processor until smooth, add lime rind, shrimp paste, paprika and galangal mixture, process until smooth, stir in spice mix and set aside.
  • 3
    Spoon the thick cream from top of coconut milk and coconut cream into a large saucepan over medium-high heat (reserve remainder), add half the oil and cook until cream splits (3-4 minutes). Add red curry paste, stir until fragrant (3-4 minutes), add palm sugar and fry until caramelised (3-4 minutes). Add fish sauce and bring to the simmer. Add lime leaf and reserved coconut milk and cream and bring to the simmer. Add daikon and Spanish onion and simmer until tender (8-10 minutes).
  • 4
    Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, dust duck in flour and fry, turning once, until crisp (2-3 minutes each side). Add to curry sauce with peas and mushroom and simmer until tender (5-7 minutes). Serve curry hot scattered with coriander and with rice and lime wedges.