Tag Archives: pea pods

Thai Red Curry w/ Duck


Duck is so plentiful here in Belgium that it has been making a regular appearance on our dinner table since we arrived in the country. I’ve been marinading, grilling and roasting it (and making good use of the resulting delicious duck fat) but have recently been expanding my horizons and cooking the meat in different ways. We are also fans of curry at my house, in particular red curry, so this recipe, adapted from Saveur magazine seemed like a natural fit. And I was right.

Like most curries, the ingredients are simple and variable but the results are always packed with flavor in every bite. Here crisp pea pods, chunks of fresh pineapple and sweet grape tomatoes are simmered in a rich red curry ladened coconut milk. Basil–the Thai variety if you can find it–and kaffir lime leaves add complexity to the dish. (You can find kaffir lime leaves in most Asian markets or as I do, in the Asian section of my local grocery store). And of course there is the duck; other meats will work as well but the duck makes the dish taste that much more luxurious. And since the curry cooks up so quickly it makes for a perfect weeknight meal. Enjoy!

2 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
1 pound duck breast, cut into bite sized pieces
10 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves
1 cup fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1″ chunks
1 cup pea pods
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
6 Thai chiles, stemmed
20 grape tomatoes, halved
3 green onions, white part only
Leaves from 10 basil stems
  • Heat 1 cup of the coconut milk in a large pot over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in the curry paste and continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is very aromatic, about 5 minutes more.
  • Add the duck to the curry mixture and increase the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the duck is cooked through, about 7 minutes.
  • Add the remaining coconut milk, lime leaves, and 34 cup water.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring, until the flavors have melded, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the pineapple, pea pods, fish sauce, sugar, and chiles and continue to simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pineapple is fork tender, about 5 minutes more.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, green onion and the basil and simmer the curry for 1 minute more; the tomatoes and basil should retain their shape and bright color.
  • Serve the curry with steamed jasmine rice.


Chicken Fried Rice

photo 2-203
I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t love Chinese food. And when it comes to Chinese the first dish I think of is fried rice. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever ordered it without including a side of this famous rice. Some versions are better than others but the best is really the dish you make at home. Yes, at home; it is that easy. And while the rice is usually a side dish that accompanies your entree, this fried rice could easily be served as a satisfying dinner by itself.
I think of the rice as a blank slate onto which a meal is created. Jasmine or another version of white rice is the grain that is traditionally used but for added nutrition and taste I’ve used brown rice in my dish. Chicken is my protein of choice but you could substitute beef, pork, or even shrimp. The same goes for the vegetables; use whatever you prefer or have on hand. Just be sure you don’t over cook them since the crisp vegetables add an interesting textural contrast to the dish. As an added bonus, if you already have cooked rice and pre-cooked chicken in the refrigerator, you can have dinner on the table in minutes.
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 red onion, diced
1 1/2 pounds cooked white meat chicken, cubed
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 large carrots, diced into coins
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup fresh sugar snap peas
1 cup canned or frozen corn
2 cups Mung bean sprouts
6 cups cooked brown rice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Place the oil in a large stainless steel wok place it over high heat.
  • Once the oil shimmers reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and saute until soft, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, celery, red bell pepper, pea pods and corn and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the rice and stir thoroughly to combine.
  • Stir in the eggs, Mung bean sprouts and remaining 1/3 cup of soy sauce.
  • Toss and stir until the rice is heated through.
  • Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6


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