Nothing is better than a good curry. I like curries from all over Indian, Thai, Japanese etc. I think Thai flavours work so well with duck so we decided to go down this route for our dinner. It is really satisfying making your own curry paste and the flavour is so much better and I do love the smell you get from the kitchen too. I would definitely recommend it to everyone. I love how you cook the duck first rather than braising, it adds a really nice smoky element and the peas and spinach add a really nice freshness. I also love how the udon noodles take on the sauce as they are thicker so they coat much better.
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the Curry Paste
- 4 long dried red chillies, deseeded
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 ½ tsp coriander seeds
- ¼ tsp nutmeg, grated
- 2 lemon grass stalks, finely sliced
- 2 banana shallots, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
- zest of 2 limes, finely chopped
- 10 schezwan peppercorns
- large pinch of salt
- ½ tsp shrimp paste
- 5 cloves
For the Curry
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 3 tbsp of curry paste
- 2 duck breasts
- 2 tins coconut milk
- 200g frozen peas
- 100g spinach leaves
- 1 bunch of udon noodles, cooked to packet instructions
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
- 1 tbsp star anise
- 1 tbsp green peppercorns, drained
- 1 fresh red chilli,, de seeded and chopped
- handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
For the paste
- Soak the red chilli’s in a bowl of hot water for around 15 minutes, then drain well on kitchen paper.
- Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and dry roast the cumin, coriander seeds and cloves for around a minute or until they start to release their aroma’s. Transfer to a spice or coffee grinder and blitz until it becomes a powder.
- In a small food processor add all of the paste ingredients along with the spice powder and blitz to combine. Reserve 3 tbsp of the paste and store the rest in an airtight container to use another day or to freeze.
For the Curry
- Heat a frying pan over a high heat until hot. Add the duck breasts skin side down and reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3-4 minutes, flip the breasts over and cook for a further 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and leave to rest and cool. Once cool remove the skin and slice.
- Heat a large wok until hot. Add the oil and swirl, add the curry paste and cook out for a couple of minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Add in the sliced duck along with the resting juices. Also add in the peas and spinach and cooked noodles.
- Cook for a couple of minutes until heated through, stirring occasionally. Season with the fish sauce and sugar, stir to dissolve. Add in the lime leaves, star anises and green peppercorns. Simmer for another minute.
- Serve in warm bowls with the chopped chilli and basil leaves.