Like a good spicy curry? Try this Thai jungle curry now!
Thai jungle curry has its origins in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand.
Traditionally, the ingredients used in jungle curry were those that could be found in the jungle. Game meat was at one time the meat of choice, but you are much more likely to see this on restaurant and takeaway menus with chicken, duck or pork.
Unlike so many Thai curries, coconut milk isn’t used. The broth should be spicy, thin and clear and full of meat and vegetables. This is great served with sticky rice or jasmine rice as pictured.
Who will love a Thai jungle curry?
This is my favourite Thai curry.
I do love the others but Thai jungle curry just plain gets it for me. If you enjoy spicy curries, then you might just agree with me.
That said, like all Thai curries, you can make this Thai jungle curry much milder by reducing the amount of curry paste used and green peppercorns.
Thai jungle curry can be prepared in advance of cooking.
You could prep all the veggies and even sear the duck breasts a couple of days before cooking.
For best results, use a homemade unsalted chicken stock but I have used stock cubes and even just water and still got good results.
You can also make the red curry paste ahead of time.
You are not limited to the duck in the recipe
I prefer this Thai jungle curry with duck but go ahead and experiment if you like.
It’s also good with chicken, beef, pork and prawns.
You might even like a mix of a few meats.
Just remember that different meats cook to tenderness at different times. If using beef, for example, you will need to cook it longer than duck. If using prawns, they really only take minutes to be cooked through. So add them at the end of cooking.
Step by step photos…
If you like Thai jungle curry, you might like to try some of these too…
- 4 duck breasts
- 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola), peanut
- or coconut oil
- 6 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- (see page 14 or shop-bought
- to taste)
- 500ml (2 cups) Thai chicken stock or water
- 10 green (string) beans, cut into
- 2.5cm (1in) pieces
- 1 x 227g (8oz) tin (can) bamboo shoots, drained and cut into
- 5 baby sweetcorn, cut into
- small pieces
- 3 tbsp fresh green peppercorns 2–3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 6 lime leaves, stalks removed
- and leaves thinly sliced
- Juice of 1⁄2 lime
- 1 tsp palm sugar (optional)
- Coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish
- Thai sweet basil leaves, to garnish
- Heat a frying pan over a medium–high heat. When hot, place the duck breasts skin-side down and fry for about 5 minutes. Flip the breasts over and cook for another 2 minutes. The duck should still be nice and pink in the centre.
- Slice into thin bite-size or slightly larger than bite- size pieces and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over a medium–high heat. When visibly hot, stir in the curry paste and fry for about 30 seconds until really fragrant.
- Stir in the stock or water and bring to a rolling simmer. Add the sliced duck and let it cook in the stock for about 5 minutes or until cooked through.
- Stir in the veggies and green peppercorns and simmer until cooked to your liking. I usually only cook mine for about 3 minutes as they will continue cooking in the hot curry sauce.
- Add the fish sauce, sliced lime leaves and lime juice. Taste the sauce and adjust, adding more fish sauce for a saltier flavour, sugar if you prefer it sweeter and more lime juice for more sourness. This is a spicy curry, so you could add a little more red curry paste or chilli powder too.
- Once you have the flavour you are looking for, garnish with coriander and Thai sweet basil leaves.