On one of my many trips to Melbourne in the last couple of years, I managed to eat out quite a bit. Gingerboy was located right near my hotel and so I visited a couple of times. Although other parts of the meal were unmemorable, the red duck curry leg stuck in my mind.
As described in my review, the curry was... "Thick but not gluggy, with an alluring, rich, sweet red curry flavour, that was in no way, underwhlemingly or overwhelming. Somehow, it struck the perfect balance." I've always hoped to come across something similar, but alas, up until this point I have been left disappointed.
After scoring some duck breasts at the markets on the weekend, I decided it was time to try my hand at a red duck curry- even if it wouldn't be exactly the same as the masterpiece at Gingerboy. A quick flick of my Spirit House cook book revealed a recipe I was happy with, Red Curry of duck and lychee. Lychees obviously aren't in season, and even though I'm not a big advocate of buying tinned, I ended up caving and grabbing some.
The curry was surprisingly easy, and had I used a Chinese duck as was suggested, the whole process would have been incredibly quick - about 15 minutes quick, so very easy to do on a weeknight. I was totally happy with the results - the curry was rich, creamy, had a bit of kick and was the perfect dish for a winter evening.
The Spirit House cook books are really great. If you like Thai cooking, I highly recommend you get your hands on one.
Spirit House Red Curry of Duck and Lychee
2 cups of coconut cream (you could always buy the light version if you are trying to cut back on fat...)
3 tablespoons of red curry paste (I used spirit house curry paste)
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 Chinese roast duck, boned and sliced (I used duck breast that I cooked at home)
2 large red chillies, halved and deseeded
6 kaffir lime leaves
12 lychees, halved and stoned
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves (I only had a little bit of basil in the garden, so popped in coriander as well.)
Skim off 1/2 cup of the coconut cream and boil in wok until starting to separate. Add the curry paste (Spirit House have curry paste available for purchase in the freezer section at some delis) and fry for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the fish sauce and palm sugar, cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining coconut cream and bring to the boil. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.