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Wok-fried duck with coconut milk, Thai basil and vermicelli noodles

Neil Perry
Neil Perry

Bring joy to tonight's dinner with coconut's many-splendoured zing. Any meal with duck seems slightly decadent - which is why I love this dish - however you can use chicken instead of duck - or try squid, crab, prawns or sliced beef.

Neil Perry's wok-fried duck with coconut milk, Thai basil and vermicelli noodles.
Neil Perry's wok-fried duck with coconut milk, Thai basil and vermicelli noodles. Photo: William Meppem


600g duck breasts, skin on, trimmed, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemongrass stem, white part only, finely sliced
1 long red chilli, sliced on the diagonal
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large white onion, cut into 1cm slices
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
*2 tbsp fish sauce
*1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of sea salt
2 cups cooked vermicelli noodles, to serve
1/4 cup golden-fried, crispy eschalots
1/2 cup Thai basil leaves, to garnish

*Check sauces are gluten-free if required


Place the duck, garlic, lemongrass and chilli in a bowl and mix well.

Place 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a hot wok over a high heat. Add duck mixture in batches and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until cooked, then remove the duck.

Add remaining oil and onion to wok and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until light golden. Return the duck mixture to wok, add the coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, oyster sauce, tamarind pulp, caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Simmer for a few minutes. Check seasoning.

To serve, place some blanched vermicelli noodles in four bowls. Place the wok-fried duck on top and garnish with the crispy eschalots and Thai basil. Serve immediately. 

Tip: Feel free to add or take away any number of items here to suit your palate. I like to add coriander, long-leafed mint and fried garlic slithers, and I'll sometimes swap the vermicelli for fresh, thick rice noodles. All delicious!

Finish your meal with with raspberry coconut pudding.



Main ingredient:
Noodles, Duck, Onion/Leek
Main-course, Dinner
Midweek dinner, Family meals

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