Thai Duck Curry with Pineapple

This delicious and simple slightly deconstructed Thai duck curry is full of the taste of Thai food and sweetened with pineapple.

This delicious and simple slightly deconstructed Thai duck curry is full of the taste of Thai food and sweetened with pineapple.

Thai Duck Curry with Pineapple.

I love this time of year, my food gets much more adventurous due to having a little more free time. My over-whelming desire to treat myself takes over and this Red Thai Duck Curry with Pineapple is just one of the results.

It may sound difficult and look impressive but this dish is incredibly simple to make.

If you are planning a dinner party you can rustle this up really quickly. I’m talking a shade over 30 minutes!

Most importantly most of the prep can be done in advance. All you need to do is cook the duck and when you are ready to serve. Amaze your guests with something that looks wonderful, tastes great.

Breaking this curry into its constituent parts really helps with the eating too. Allowing you to take little bits of the sweetness of the pineapple with some of the hot sauce. It also means I get to cook the duck just as I like it rather than having to cook it well done!

Naturally, they will need to like spice though, this Thai Duck Curry recipe is HOT stuff!

I often bang on about my love of the sweet, salty, sour and hot flavour combination and Thai food does it so well.

This duck curry recipe naturally embraces that in much the same way my Thai Beef Salad and Thai Chicken Stir Fry recipe does.

This delicious and simple slightly deconstructed Thai duck curry is full of the taste of Thai food and sweetened with pineapple.

What Is Thai Red Curry Paste?

You will notice I have called for Thai Red Curry Paste in this duck curry recipe. You can of course use your favourite shop bought variety but I always make my own.

Every trip I make to Budapest involves a trip to my favourite Asian store and ingredients for Thai Curry pastes are on the list.

In the main, it is a combination of rehydrated dried red chili, lemongrass, garlic and ginger or galangal. Ginger and galangal are not the same thing, they do have very different flavours.

Galangal is a much more authentic ingredient for this recipe. However, they can be used interchangeably and your curry paste recipe will not be ruined.

Don’t worry if you do not use curry paste often, it freezes fabulously!

I put the paste into silicon ice cube trays and when frozen solid I just pop them out of the tray and place in a bag.

Then whenever the need for a Thai flavoured dish arises like this Thai Chicken salad for instance, I am ready to go!

My Thai Green Chicken Curry features a from-scratch version of Thai Green Curry Paste.

This delicious and simple slightly deconstructed Thai duck curry is full of the taste of Thai food and sweetened with pineapple.

Savoury Pineapple Recipes.

I am usually one of those people who scoff at the use of pineapple in savoury dishes. In fact, I firmly believe that a ‘Hawaii  Pizza’ is a food crime that should be locked away in a cell and the key thrown away.

Which is odd really as I have no issue in general with fruit in savoury dishes. In fact, it is something in general that I love! Whether it be pickled peaches in a ham and cheese salad or pears with pork chops, it is really my thing!

However in this Thai duck curry recipe pineapple seems to be the perfect addition. The sweetness next to the fiercely hot sauce and the creamy nature of the coconut milk all match beautifully!

Please make sure you use fresh pineapple though even the tinned stuff in natural juices is too sweet!

One final note, as you can see I like my duck very pink. But, I have added some notes as to the internal cooking temperatures to serve your duck as you like.

If I can offer one word of advice as a cook, then buy a meat thermometer! Seriously mine is as much a fundamental part of my kitchen as my fridge, cooker or knife!

They are not expensive, mine cost the equivalent of about 5 bucks and I would not be without it!

This delicious and simple slightly deconstructed Thai duck curry is full of the taste of Thai food and sweetened with pineapple.
Thai Red Duck Curry with Pineapple

Thai Red Duck Curry with Pineapple

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This delicious and simple slightly deconstructed duck curry is full of the taste of Thai food and sweetened with pineapple.


  • 2 Duck Breasts, Ensure the skin is dry and score in a criss cross pattern with a sharp knife ensuring you do not pass through to the flesh
  • 6 Tbsp Red Thai Curry Paste
  • 150 g Thick Coconut Milk
  • Handful Basil Leaves, Around 30 leaves, Thai Basil is best but regular basil will work fine
  • 200 g Pineapple, 1.5 cm dice

Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste

  • 15 15 Dried Red Chili
  • 1.5 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 0.5 Tbsp Pepper Corns
  • 1 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 50 g Ginger Or Galangal
  • 3 Sticks Lemongrass
  • 10 Cloves Garlic
  • 150 g Shallot
  • 1 Lime, Zest Only
  • 25 g Coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Shrimp Paste, (Optional)


  1. Fry off the curry paste in a frying pan for 1 minute until it becomes fragrant.
  2. Add in the Coconut milk and stir and add in 100g of the fresh pineapple and cook for 5 minutes on a low heat.
  3. Blitz this sauce in a blender and set aside whilst you cook your duck.
  4. Heat a dry sauce pan over a high heat and when hot place in your duck skin side down after you have seasoned with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the remaining 100g of pineapple around the duck.
  6. It is important that you do not mess with the duck too much whilst it is cooking on the skin side but ensure you occasionally turn the pineapple cubes to prevent them from burning.
  7. When your duck skin is crisp and golden as my pictures above flip the duck and allow it to finish cooking on the flesh side.
  8. It is difficult to say how long to cook a duck breast for, we all have different tastes and duck breasts are all different sizes. I would recommend using a meat thermometer and use the guide in my notes below to ascertain how you would like your duck cooked.
  9. When your duck is cooked set aside and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  10. No finish off your sauce, bring it to a simmer and add in almost all of the basil and stir.
  11. Add a little basil to the pineapple cubes and stir and then plate.
  12. I like to serve this with some plainly boiled rice and add the sauce on the side and dot the plate with the fried pineapple cubes.

Thai Red Curry Paste Instructions:

  1. Soak the chilis in cold water for 15 minutes.
  2. Toast the seeds and pepper off in a dry pan for about 1 minute and then grind in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
  3. Peel and roughly chop your ginger.
  4. Remove the outer leaves and coarsely chop your lemongrass.
  5. Peel your garlic.
  6. Remove the tops of the chilis then add all of the ingredients including the spice mix to a blender then blitz into a fine paste. 


Place your meat thermometer into the thickest part of the duck breast and take the reading and cook your duck the way you like it 🙂
Rare: 57°C
Medium: 62°C
Well Done: 67°C


Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 878 Total Fat: 46g Saturated Fat: 22g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 21g Cholesterol: 329mg Sodium: 1373mg Carbohydrates: 50g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 24g Protein: 69g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

19 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Pingback: 13 Asian Curries To Rev Your Spice Addiction | Wandercooks
  4. 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 😉

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. I’ve never tried making my own curry paste! Definitely plan on giving it a go along with this recipe as my husband was just telling me the other day he’d like to cook duck sometime soon.

    • I make all of my own curry pastes MAry and once you have a little practice they are great and offer a really wonderful way to pimp your food to your own tastes adding more of what you like and less of what you don’t… And that is never a bad thing 🙂

    • This is almost ‘Thai’ lite although packs a serious punch of chili and has all of the flvours, but plating it up in its constituent parts allows the dish to be moderated rather than having a full on Thai Red Curry-

  7. Great idea on freezing the curry cubes. I’ll have to try that! I need to try cooking duck soon — this looks so tasty!!

    • Thanks Whitney, freezing the cubes is genius (even if my wife argues that just because the technique is genius it does not mean I am)… I use lots of curry pastes however I usually have ‘fresh’ ingredients for them as they are less seasonal, but the basil and lemon grass are a little tougher for me to get my hands on so it is the perfect solution.

  8. This really tasty Brian! I’ve not ever tried duck before 🙂 But I do love Thai red curry paste…and your combination with pineapple and coconut milk sounds amazing!

    • Paige this is wonderful and keeping it all separate alows things to be cooked to perfection which I often find difficult in some curry/casserole type dishes.

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