Panang Curry Duck
Locale: Thailand 
[p. ] [link]
- 1/3 c dried chilies, soaked until soft, seeds removed
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp galangal, cut into matchsticks
- 2 tbs lemongrass, cut into thin rounds
- 1 tbs coriander root
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
- 2 tbs garlic
- 2 tbs shallots
- 1 tbs peanuts, roasted
- 1 tsp shrimp paste
- 2 c (or 1 can) coconut milk
- 1 tbs lime leaves, shredded
- 0.5 tsp palm sugar
- 2 c sliced roast duck (or beef or pork)
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 1 can chickpeas (optional)
Soak the chilies until soft. Cut open and remove seeds.
Slip skins off chickpeas.
Toast cumin seeds, peanut seeds, and peanuts separately in pan over medium heat, until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Grind up each in mortar and pestle. Set aside.
Put chilies in stone mortar and pestle and pound to paste. Add lemongrass and smash. Add galangal and coriander roots and smash. Add peanuts, shallots, garlic, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Mash into paste. Add shrimp paste and pound to mix well. Set aside.
Heat pan on medium-high, then add 1/2 cup of coconut milk. It should sizzle right away and boil. Add paste and mix well. Fry paste, adding 1/4 cup coconut milk as it bubbles and dries out, until all coconut milk incorporated. In 4-5 minutes, oil should start to separate. When it does, add meat. Cook meat until done. Add chickpeas, if using. Add lime leaves, palm sugar, fish sauce. If dry, add more coconut milk. Heat through.
I'm trying to reproduce a restaurant dish, which I've had in a couple of places. Initially used a Chinese recipe for roast duck. Main restaurant model uses chickpeas and spinach. I felt like at least adding the chickpeas. Other versions I've had use more peanuts. I probably used 2.5 tbs, but could have used more. My recipe came out a bit too salty -- the duck also contributed to that. I garnished with Thai basil leaves. Pretty good, but definitely not done here. Didn't have coriander root -- not sure if that's much of a problem.
Original recipe called for beef or pork, not duck. Could have cooked longer before adding duck and less afterwards, given that duck was already cooked.
I used 1.5 serrano chiles, which was about as hot as I wanted it. The amount the recipe calls for is ridiculous.