Roast Duck and Pumpkin Curry
Gkaeng Ped Bped Yang or Kaeng Phed Ped Yang*
A Recipe of Kasma Loha-unchit
Recipe Copyright © 1995 Kasma Loha-unchit.
See Kasma's Blog Thai Thanksgiving Dish.
(Click image to see larger version.)
- An approximately 1 1/2-lb. kabocha or other winter squash
- 4-5 cups coconut milk (use two 19-oz cans of the Mae Ploy brand)
- 4-6 Tbs. red curry paste
- 1 1/2 to 2 Tbs. palm or coconut sugar
- Fish sauce (nahm bplah) as needed to desired saltiness
- 2 1/2 to 3 lb. roast duck, chopped through the bone into small chunks
- 2-4 red hot chillies, cut into thin slivers with seeds (optional)
- 2 cups Thai basil leaves and flower buds
- Basil sprig(s) for garnish
Cut the kabocha in half, scoop out the seeds and pith. Placing the cut ends flat on a surface for balance, peel and discard the greenish skin. Then cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks.
Do not shake the cans of coconut milk before opening. Spoon 2/3 cup of the thickest cream off the top of a can into a large pot placed over medium-high heat. Reduce cream until thick and bubbly (about 3 minutes), then add the curry paste. Stir and mush the paste into the coconut cream and fry for a few minutes until it is very aromatic and darkened in color. Then pour in the remaining milk from both cans, stirring well to dissolve the paste to make a smooth rich sauce.
Add 1 1/2 Tbs. of palm or coconut sugar, stirring well to blend into the curry sauce. Taste and add fish sauce only as necessary to salt to the desired saltiness (may not be necessary with some brands of curry paste which are already highly salted).
Add the kabocha chunks and duck pieces. Stir well into the sauce. If there is not enough curry sauce to cover most of the duck and squash pieces, add more coconut milk; or if the sauce already looks plenty rich, add 1/2 cup of water instead, as the squash and duck will thicken and enrich the sauce even more when they are cooked.
Return to a boil, then lower heat to medium, or just enough to boil the sauce gently. Cook partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, or cooked to your liking (15-20 minutes or more). Taste the sauce and adjust as needed with fish sauce and palm sugar to the desired salty-sweet combination. If more hotness is desired, stir in the slivered chillies.
If a lot of fat has cooked out from the duck, skim out the oil floating on top of the curry sauce. Then stir in the basil until it wilts to a bright green color. Turn off heat and spoon curry into a serving dish. Garnish top with basil sprig(s).
The preferred canned coconut milk for this recipe is Mae Ploy and Kasma's preferred curry paste is Mae Ploy – found in plastic tubs in many Asian Markets. (Kasma's Favorite Brands.)
You might enjoy learning how to Cook Thai food from Kasma in a Thai cooking class.
Kasma does not teach this dish in any of her classes.
*Because the Thai language has its own script, there are different ways of transliterating Thai into English. The more phonetic version is ; the more usual spelling is Kaeng Phed Ped Yang. See A Note on Thai Pronunciation and Spelling.