Thai-style Duck

Serves: To serve 4

Prep Time: 35 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Ready In: 45 mins


1 lb - duck breasts (boneless and skinless)

1 stalk - lemongrass

3 tablespoons - groundnut (peanut) oil

2 medium - shallots

3 cloves - garlic

1 tablespoon - fish sauce (or light soy sauce)

1 teaspoon - dark soy sauce

1 - lime

3 large - red or green chilli peppers

2 teaspoons - sugar

1 handful - fresh basil leaves

For the marinade

2 teaspoons - light soy sauce

2 teaspoons - rice wine or dry sherry

2 teaspoons - sesame oil

¼ teaspoon - salt

2 teaspoons - cornflour (cornstarch)

  - freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cut the duck breasts into slices about 4cm (1½") long. Place the slices in a bowl, add the marinade ingredients and mix well. Allow to marinade for 15 minutes (or more if you wish).
  2. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the shallots, peel and roughly chop the garlic, zest the lime, and deseed and finely grate the chilli peppers.
  3. Peel the lemongrass stalk to reveal the tender, whitish centre. Cut it into lengths about 5cm (2") long. Crush with the flat of a cleaver or wide knife and set aside.
  4. Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is very hot. Add the groundnut (peanut) oil and, when the oil is hot and begins to smoke, add the duck from the marinade and stir fry for about 2 minutes (it should be slightly pink in the centre). Remove the duck and drain in a colander.
  5. Pour off all but about 1½ tablespoons of oil from the pan and reheat over a high heat. Add the lemongrass, shallots, and garlic and stir fry for 3 minutes. Then add the fish sauce (or light soy sauce), the dark soy sauce, the lime zest, chilli peppers and sugar and stir fry for one minute.
  6. Return the drained duck to the pan, stir to mix well, toss in the basil leaves, give it all a good stir, then transfer to a warmed serving dish and take straight to the table.