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Stir-Fried Duck with Basil Recipe

A quick flash in the pan for some duck, along with a fragrant sauce and loads of chilies, and we've got your new favorite simple weeknight meal.
Stir-Fried Duck with Basil Recipe
Photo by Daisy Meager.

Servings: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes


chillies and fish sauce accompaniment (prik nahm pla):
5 tablespoons fish sauce
3-4 bird's eye chillies, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1/4 of a lime sliced roughly into 3 or pieces

for the stir fry:
10 1/2 ounces boneless duck meat (leg or breast meat is fine) plus a tablespoon or two of fatty duck skin, if desired
5 garlic cloves
6-10 bird's eye chillies (scuds), depending on how hot you like it
a small pinch of salt
4 3/4 ounce chicken stock
2 -3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 or 4 long red chillies cut into long slices at an angle
1/2 white onion, cut into irregular chunks
2 generous handfuls of picked holy basil leaves


for the crispy eggs ('kai dao'):
4-5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 free range eggs

to serve:
freshly cooked jasmine rice


1. Make the prik nahm pla: Combine the fish sauce, chillies, and sliced garlic in a bowl. Squeeze in the lime pieces and add them to the sauce and set aside.

2. Make the stir fry: Using a knife or meat cleaver, hand mince your duck meat (and fat / skin if using), until a coarse but fairly even mince is achieved.

3. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic with the chillies and a pinch of salt. Remove from the mortar and pestle and set both this and your minced duck meat aside ready to stir fry.

4. Make the crispy eggs: Place a wok over medium heat and add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot and starting to shimmer, break in one of the eggs and shallow fry until crispy around the edges and still runny in the middle, about 3 minutes. Carefully lift out the egg with a slotted spoon and place it on some kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil, then fry the other egg in the same way. Discard the oil and keep the eggs warm while you make you stir fry.

5. Make the stir fry: Clean and dry the wok and place it back on a high heat. Add the onion chunks and char without any oil at a high heat before removing from the wok. Allow the wok to cool slightly and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add your garlic and chilli paste, stir fry it for a few seconds on high heat, then quickly add your duck meat. Keep the heat on high and stir fry the meat and garlic chilli mix for about 1 minute. Add the fish sauce and sugar, followed by about 3/4 of the stock. Add the charred onions and sliced long chillies and cook for 30 seconds.

6. Throw in all the holy basil and the rest of the stock if your pan is looking a little dry. Cook for just enough time for the basil to wilt (about 20 seconds or so) and turn off the heat. Taste the stir fry - it should be rich, hot, salty and fragrant of the basil. If it needs a touch more fish sauce feel free to add and toss through now, but remember there is a salty fish sauce condiment going alongside.

7. To serve place some warm jasmine rice on each plate, top with the stir fry, reserving a little back, then add the crispy egg, followed by a final spoon of stir fry and any juice over the top! Serve with the sauce on the side.

From Workaholics: How to Turn Pantry Staples into a Thai Stir-Fry Masterpiece