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Thai Red Duck Curry with Pineapple

Thai red duck curry, a perfectly cooked rosy pink duck breast in sweet, spicy, sour, and salt red curry sauce tempered with coconut milk.

The pineapple adds and extra sweet and sour note that is the perfect contrast to the rich and delicious duck breast.

Thai red duck curry with pineapple, rice and Thai basil.

Red Duck Breast Curry

I don’t know you wait forever to stumble upon a duck curry and then two come along in quick succession.

This Thai red duck curry is not the first here. I have a glorious Indian duck curry made with duck breast too.

Both of these recipes share one thing in common, the desire to keep the duck breast pink. I achieve that in this recipe by not cooking the duck in the curry sauce.

That also helps play around with a very modern and different take on a curry.

Whilst I love to embrace a bowl of comforting curry, I like to play with food new ideas and sideways looks at dishes without losing any flavour.

My sea bass curry is another delicious example of this!

Don’t worry though, it is not all “fur coat and no knickers”, this dish is packed to the gunnels with classic Thai curry flavours.

Overhead Thai red duck curry with pineapple, rice and Thai basil.

Frequently Asked Questions

What curry paste do you prefer?

I usually make my own Thai Red Curry Paste and freeze it in 50g or 3 tablespoon portions as that is the size that I use the most.

However, there are lots of great store-bought options out there, my favourites are Maesri and Lobo. I use these when making quick-store cupboard curries like my Thai prawn curry, Thai red curry mussels, Thai chicken and prawn soup and Thai red beef curry.

Do I need Thai Basil?

No, you can skip adding it if you like, however, it does add a nice touch to this spicy duck curry.

You can sub in a mix of regular basil with 25% of mint and it will get you quite close.

Can I cook the duck so that it is not pink?

Yes! It is your dinner, I am not one of those cooks that tells you what you should like.

You can continue to cook the duck further, and these are the temperatures to aim for after resting. Your duck breast will continue to cook on another 5°C as it rests.

  • Rare: 57°C or 135°F
  • Medium: 62°C or 144°F
  • Well Done: 67°C or 153°F
Close up Thai red duck curry with pineapple, rice and Thai basil.

Serving Suggestions

For me, this red duck curry needs very little, although I typically serve it with a small amount of Jasmine rice.

If you wanted to serve it as a multi-course meal then I would serve half of a large duck breast per person.

Then you can open yourself up to a host of starters you can pair this with.

I would personally go for these Spicy Thai tuna fishcakes and some cucumber salad.

Thai red duck curry with pineapple, rice and Thai basil in a blue bowl.

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 28cm or 11″ frying pan or skillet, not nonstick is best for this recipe.
  • Kitchen tongs.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Quick read meat thermometer, optional but I find using one invaluable for cooking duck.
Thai red duck curry with pineapple, rice and Thai basil in a blue bowl.
Yield: 2 Servings

Red Thai Duck Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This delicious and simple Thai red duck curry is full of the flavours of Thailand and a healthy kick of spice.


  • 2 Duck Breasts 
  • 2 Red Birds Eye Chillis
  • 50g (3 Tbsp) Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 6 Lime Leaves
  • 1 (35g) Shallot
  • 1 Tbsp Lemongrass Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic and Ginger Paste
  • 400ml (14oz) Tin of Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 150g (¾-1 Cup) Pineapple Rings
  • 2 Tbsp Thai Basil


    1. Ensure the skin of the duck is dry and score in a 6-10mm (¼-½") crosshatch pattern with a sharp knife ensuring you do not pass through to the flesh.
    2. Season with the salt and place skin side down in a cold 28cm or 11" frying pan or skillet, turn the heat to low-medium and allow to cook for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.
    3. Slit the red chillies in half lengthways.
    4. As soon as the duck breasts have given off enough oil add the slit chillies to the oil.
    5. Dice the shallot as finely as you can.
    6. Roughly tear the lime leaves into pieces making sure you remove the central vein.
    7. Cut the pineapple into 2-3cm (¾-1¼") pieces.
    8. When the duck is nicely golden remove it from the pan and set it aside, skin side up.
    9. Drain the pan of all but about a tablespoon of duck fat and return it to a medium heat.
    10. Add the shallots and garlic and ginger paste and cook for 1 minute.
    11. Add the Thai curry paste and cook for two minutes stirring and mashing all of the time.
    12. Pour in the coconut milk and add the lime leaves, lemongrass paste, brown sugar, lime juice and fish sauce, then stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
    13. Add the duck breasts skin side up and cook until the desired level of cooking. I aim to remove at around 53-54°C or 127°F.
    14. Remove the duck and allow it to rest covered with foil for 5 minutes.
    15. Add the pineapple to the sauce and have a taste before refining the levels of sugar, lime juice and fish sauce to your taste.
    16. Shred the Thai basil and stir through the sauce just before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1020Total Fat: 71gSaturated Fat: 44gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 326mgSodium: 2328mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 17gProtein: 66g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Sunday 11th of March 2018

Another great recipe from you Brian. Your such a good cook, yes we cooked duck because we loved it but I like to try this one. Thanks for sharing.

Brian Jones

Sunday 11th of March 2018

Thanks Melve, you are too kind, I'm definitely a hard working cook not necessarily good... But cooking is all about practice and anyone really can cook great food given a little patience.

Michelle Barsness

Sunday 11th of March 2018

Can't go wrong with Thai red curry, coconut milk and pineapple! I love that flavor combo. I've never tried it with duck, but that looks incredible! A very special meal indeed.

Brian Jones

Sunday 11th of March 2018

Thanks Michelle, duck is such a big strong meat it works wonderfully with big strong flavours!

Julie @ R

Sunday 11th of March 2018

What a great recipe! Your photos are so pretty! I bet this tastes fabulous.

Brian Jones

Sunday 11th of March 2018

Thanks Julie


Thursday 31st of December 2015

Oh man, I remember the first time I tried roasted duck. I fell in love instantly. My husband used to make dishes like this for me when we were dating... but now we're married, what happened? Maybe I'll just have to try and make this for him instead ;-)

Brian Jones

Monday 4th of January 2016

Haha, I reckon if I stop my wife would be having words ;)

Byron Thomas

Thursday 31st of December 2015

I've never tried duck before. It makes me nervous because I'm one of those heathens who likes meat to be well done. Whenever I go to a restaurant and order steak well done, I get the most disgusted looks from the wait staff. :) So, my question to you then is, if I decide to prepare duck, can I cook it all the way through? Or will that just ruin the whole thing? You see, I cannot eat "pink" meat.

Brian Jones

Monday 4th of January 2016

It's your food dude, you should definitely cook it the way you like it... Just because I may find something over cooked doesn't mean that everyone will, in fact one of the joys of this recipe is that it is pretty simple to prepare the meat in many different ways, I have to do this as my wife likes medium rare and I am rare all the way, cooking in sauce makes that a tough job. I would definitely advise any one to get a meat thermometer to ascertain to what level a piece of meat is cooked, it is possible to remove all pinkness from duck lamb or beef and still end up with a bit of moisture, but it is a very fine line between that and charcoal and a meat thermometer is perfect for nailing that.

Loads of people recommend crazy expensive brand names, mine cost me the equivalent of 5 dollars from Ikea and has a probe that goes in the meat in the oven and the unit beeps when the meat reaches the desired temp.

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