Thai Duck Curry – The Perfect Match

Duck Banquet

If you want to have a more elaborate dinner party with several courses, then this is a great way to get full use out of your duck and certainly looks more structured, indeed almost professional.

Ideally the soup should be cooked the night before and left in fridge so the fat can settle on the top, although it is feasible to serve straight away. Obviously you will need more preparation time and further ingredients. I would suggest the duck salad is the best option for a two course meal.

With the salad, you want this to be tangy and spicy using a lot of peppery Asian Salad leaves and mints – Perilla mints are great from Thailand or Japan, check out Also Laksa leaves are brilliant, used a lot in Malaysian cooking, but fairly easy to procure. And good old fashion garden mint and the more types of mint, the wilder the flavours.

Duck Salad

Duck Salad – leftover small bits for salad

  • Remove all the remaining meat from the duck, separating the skin and removing all fat. Shred the meat with fingers. (see picture)
  • Mixed Asian Salad (readily available in pre-selected packets these days)
  • Perilla Mints – Thai, Japanese, Garden Mint and Laksa Leaves
  • Thai Limes (enough for 50ml or so of juice)
  • Thai Pomelo (optional, or you can use segments of mandarin)
  • Thai Fish Sauce (this is your salt)
  • Sambal (Malaysian style, has dried shrimp paste added)

Pluck all the mint leaves and wash, and wash your Asian Salad mix, spin-dry and put in fridge. If using Pomelo, separate in to pearls (individual segments). Squeeze limes and set juice aside.

Preparing the salad – I like to use a wok for this as you can toss the salad easier but a large pan will do. With a splash of olive oil, add a good dollop of Sambal and couple of dashes of Fish Sauce, cook it gently, only 1 minute – turn off heat. Add in the shredded duck and mix – then add in Pomelo, salad and mints tossing well. Now add your lime juice a little at a time, tossing the salad and tasting – adding more to your preference of tanginess. Transfer to a nice big shallow white dish.

Yes, that’s it folks, so easy it’s almost ridiculous but you will find the mix of Sambal, lime, spicy-peppery salads and mints and oiliness of the duck is all very tantalizing.

I like to pair with a Riesling that has a little residual sugar and racy acidity, personally a New Zealand Riesling – could be Felton Road, Mount Edwards, Mount Difficulty, Bald Hills, Chard Farm, Pegasus Bay to mention a few.

Duck Soup


Duck Soup – meat portioned and carcasse in big soup pot

Place your duck carcase – not much left on it now, but there’s lots of flavour in them bones – in a decent sized pot and cover with water.

Add all the ingredients to pot and simmer gently with no lid for a good 2 hours, then remove bones and keep simmering to reduce by a third. This is really a matter of experimentation and taste, but what you are aiming to is reduce this to a reasonably strong flavoured broth, but the soup will remain quite clear and don’t expect it to be like a super-concentrated Consommé.

Run through a soup cone (sieve) to remove any floaty bits. Ideally, you would leave this to settle overnight in the fridge as the fat will rise to the top and can be skimmed off before reheating, but it’s not an imperative and just as good served straight away.

Add in Japanese mushrooms, not too many so that it is crowded, rather it is more a garnish if anything. Serve in individual deep soup bowls. Serve after the salad and pair with a spicy but not too oaky chardonnay.

I know it may seem an odd pairing but we tried it with Felton Road Chardonnay and it went brilliantly. In fact Edwin Soon, who is a guru at this having authored ‘Pairing Wine with Asian food’, was dining with us on this occasion and even he was sceptical when the chardonnay was wheeled out, but agreed the pairing was excellent.

I think it’s the combination of the slightly oily, almost chicken stock type flavours and textures and the white pepper lifting it that the chardonnay picks up on. Put it this way, riesling would simply be too limey and hectic as a match, and you need someone more wine-secondary-flavoured. A really good Fino Sherry would work too.

If you want to serve a simple, rustic dessert, I like to use Patricia Wells recipe, Baked Fruit & Honey with Beaumes de Vensie, from her brilliant book “At Home in Provence”. Depending on what hemisphere you are in, it is wonderful when stone fruits, figs and berries are in season. See my Dessert Wine of the Lunar Year adaption and recipe using Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling. Yum!

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By Curtis Marsh | Produce | Related to: , , | 2 comments

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2 Comments to Thai Duck Curry – The Perfect Match | Comments Feed

  • Lakisha says

    You’re the gerastet! JMHO

    May 4, 2011
  • […] Thai Duck Curry – The Perfect Match – And the wine… Schubert Pinot Noir of course, the consummate duck curry wine! […]

    July 30, 2013
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