Thai red duck curry – thanks to magical MIL, fantastic FIL and Karen Martini

April 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm 6 comments

Well – how lucky am I?  And you too, really?  Why?  Thanks to my magical MIL and fantastic FIL I now have both the first Thai red duck curry and the Persian chicken recipes from last night’s blog in my hot little hand.  Tonight, I’ll share the red duck curry recipe with you.  Originally – it comes from Australian chef, Karen Martini.  If you like to cook – make it.  It’s one of the best Thai red duck curries I’ve had!

Credit where credit’s due

Just before you get to the recipe – I want to say an official thanks to my fantastic FIL who toiled away at the keyboard typing out this recipe for you and me today.  So thanks FIL – you truly are fantastic!  And of course, many thanks to magical MIL and Karen Martini for both cooking and serving; and creating (respectively) this great recipe.

Fantastic FIL’s tip

While the duck in this recipe is served on the bone, it’s fantastic FIL’s preference to have it removed and cut into bite sized pieces – as shown in the pics in last night’s post.  His reasoning is that having the duck off the bone simply means he’s able to devour it faster.  And well, who can argue with that?  So I support fantastic FIL’s thinking there and suggest you consider which version you’d prefer before commencing with this recipe.

Karen Martini’s Thai red duck curry

Words and picture below as reprinted from Karen Martini’s original.

The spices in this curry are rich, heady and enticing, so one to two pieces of duck per person is plenty.

Serves 6–8

Karen Martini's original duck picture

Karen Martini's original duck picture


1 barbecued duck, cut into8 pieces
700 ml coconut milk
60 ml vegetable oil
½ cup frozen peas (optional)
3 tsp palm sugar
6 kaffir lime leaves
1–1½  tbsp fish sauce
200 ml coconut cream
3 tbsp lemongrass
3 eschalots, chopped
4 large red chillies (or to taste)
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 lime, zest finely grated
½ tsp ground nutmeg
5 whole cloves
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp vegetable oil


For paste, combine garlic, salt, lemongrass, eschalots and chillies in a mortar and pestle and grind well. Add shrimp paste, lime zest, spices and oil and grind to a coarse paste.

For curry, place duck in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove duck and discard water. Return duck to pan and cover with coconut milk and bring to boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

Heat vegetable oil in a very large pan and fry paste over medium heat for 2–3 minutes until fragrant, then add duck pieces with coconut milk, peas, if using, sugar, lime leaves and fish sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Add coconut cream and simmer for 8–10 minutes.

About Karen Martini

Australian celebrity chef, Karen Martini

Australian celebrity chef, Karen Martini

Karen Martini (born 1974) is an Australian chef, restaurateur, writer and television presenter. She is currently executive chef of The Melbourne Wine Room in fashionable St Kilda and has earned several chef’s hats over the years due to her work there. 

For a full bio on Karen, visit this link on the LifeStyle FOOD website.


Entry filed under: australia, Dinner, Gluten free. Tags: , , , , , .

A duck’n’great time! Karen Martini’s Persian Roasted Chicken with Hazelnuts and Saffron

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lady Flaxalot  |  April 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for the compliments re my cooking.

    You may find it easier to take the meat off the bones after simmering it in the water and then the coconut milk before contiuing with the recipe. This also gets some of the flavours out of the bones into the dish.

    • 2. myfavouritefruits  |  April 20, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks for the tip magical MIL! And thanks again for sharing the recipe 🙂 xx

  • 3. Megsy L  |  April 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Whilst yes, this is a bloody good recipe My Favourite Fruits lady, having been privy to having consumed both recipes on serparate occasions, I would have to say that your recipe wasn’t so bad either and think you have been a little hard on yourself. This little chicken knows her duck curries and while it probably did need a little more curry paste the reason why it wasn’t there in the first place was because you were trying to be nice to cater for the chilli intolerant BIL2B…. so quack!!!

    • 4. myfavouritefruits  |  April 22, 2010 at 8:53 am

      Oh haha – well thanks for the vote of confidence on the duck curry recipe there Megsy L 🙂 I will do that same recipe again with more paste next time for sure. xx

  • […] For Karen Martini’s bio, visit last night’s post: Thai red duck curry – thanks to magical MIL, fantastic FIL and Karen Martini. […]

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Fruit Loop. Fruit Loop said: New post @ – Karen Martini's amazing Red Thai Duck curry-thanks to magical MIL and fantastic FIL […]


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