Thai duck larb
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Susan says

Many Thai dishes are perfect for warmer weather because their vivid flavours refresh the palate. Duck larb is eaten warm or tepid, which means much of it can be prepared in advance. Make the cooked ingredients and prepare the fresh herbs. Just before serving, combine the meat with the fried duck skin, fried shallot, fresh herbs and lime juice.

Ingredients such as kaffir lime leaves, fried shallots, toasted rice powder and sawtooth coriander (which goes by many names, including culantro and long coriander) are sold at shops specialising in Southeast Asian products.

Kaffir lime leaves are double leaves – they are attached to each other as a pair. You need six pairs for this dish

For the duck larb
850g (30oz)
duck breast
6 pairs
kaffir lime leaves
garlic cloves, peeled
leaves sawtooth coriander
spring onions
whole dried chillies
15ml (1tbsp)
fish sauce
5g (⅛oz)
dried chilli flakes
15g (½oz)
toasted rice powder
25g (⅞oz)
fried shallots
a small handful
fresh mint leaves
30ml (2tbsp)
fresh lime juice
cooking oil, as necessary
To serve
fresh vegetables, such as small lettuce leaves, small Thai eggplants, sliced cucumbers and long beans
lime wedges

Remove the skin from the duck breasts. Cut the skin into short, thin strips. Mince the meat, either by putting it through the medium blade of a meat grinder or chopping it with a very sharp knife.


Separate the kaffir lime leaves so they're individual leaves. Roughly chop the garlic. Cut the sawtooth coriander and spring onions into 5mm (¼in) pieces.


Pour oil to the depth of about 4cm (1½in) in a wok (or use a large skillet with oil to the depth of about 1cm [7/16in])  and heat it over a medium-high flame. Add the lime leaves and whole dried chillies and fry for about 30 seconds, or until they are fragrant and darkened slightly, but be careful not to burn them. Use a slotted spatula to remove them from the wok and drain them on paper towels.


Pour off the oil from the wok or skillet, then wipe it out with paper towels. Place it over a medium flame. Add the duck skin and cook, stirring constantly, until the fat has rendered out. Continue to cook until the skin is lightly browned then remove the pieces and drain them on paper towels. Pour off most of the fat, leaving behind about 20ml (2tsp).


Heat the wok or skillet over a high flame. Add the garlic and stir-fry until it's pale golden. Add the minced duck meat and use a spatula to break it up. Stir-fry until the meat loses its pink colour then add the fish sauce, chilli flakes and toasted rice powder. Continue to stir-fry until the meat is fully cooked, then transfer the ingredients to a bowl. Let the mixture cool, stirring it occasionally, until it's no longer steaming.


Add the duck skin and fried shallots, then stir in the sawtooth coriander, mint leaves, spring onion, lime juice and lime leaves. Taste for seasoning and correct, if necessary. Transfer the larb to a serving platter then garnish with the fried whole chillies before serving with the fresh vegetables and lime wedges.


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