Saturday, March 26, 2011

Thai Tamarind Duck Breast with Baby Bok Choy, Snap Peas, and Potatoes

It's always a risky proposition to cook something for the first time when you are inviting a new guest over for dinner. Example: my recent failed fish quenelles (luckily my guest was polite about it, and even asked for seconds). However, on a much more successful note, I recently made my own version of a dish from my favorite Thai restaurant in Paris (Au Petit Thai in the Marais - only about 7 tables, great service, and amazing food). My friend Jacinthe ate at this restaurant last December with a friend from out of town, and they loved it so much that they brought me along with them the very next night. That night, I ordered a duck breast with a tamarind sauce served with rice and broccoli that I have since ordered at almost every visit to this restaurant. I've been wanting to try to make it myself, and here's what I came up with from my memory and from perusing some other websites that offer suggestions for tamarind sauce:

Thai Tamarind Duck Breast with Baby Bok Choy, Snap Peas, and Potatoes

Prep time: about an hour and 100% worth it!

2 tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smushed and chopped
2 small shallots, diced
1/2 cup tamarind sauce (I found some in a new ethnic grocery store in Paris)
2 tbl honey
1 tbl chili paste (or hot sauce)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 small duck breasts
several pieces of baby bok choy
a few handfuls of sugar snap peas
several small potatoes, chopped into 1" pieces
salt and pepper and 1 tsp thyme
1 tbl olive oil
1 cup rice


1. Mix herbs in a small bowl: coriander, tumeric, cardamon, salt and pepper
2. On a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, place chopped potatoes, salt and pepper, and 1 tsp thyme. Drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven at about 400 degrees. Add 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of water to a saucepan. Heat over high to boiling, then cover and simmer until the water is absorbed.
3. In a frying pan, heat olive oil. Saute garlic, and add shallots and cook until soft.
4. Add dry herbs and stir over heat for about a minute
5. Add tamarind sauce, soy sauce, hot sauce, and honey to the pan and heat through to gentle bubbling.
6. Place the duck breasts skin side down on the frying pan. Cook for about five minutes and then flip to the other side for about five more minutes.
7. While the duck is in the pan, heat a pot of water to boiling.
8. Slice bok choy into halves and then place in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
9. After about 20-30 minutes, check the potatoes. When they are almost softened, place the duck breasts on top of the potatoes and put the baking sheet back in the oven for about 4 minutes, taking care to reserve the sauce.
11. In a different frying pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the bok choy and sugar snap peas for about 4 minutes.
12. Assemble on a plate the rice, potatoes, duck, and vegetables. Drizzle with the tamarind sauce from the pan.

Enjoy! This dish received two thumbs up from my guest!


  1. this looks and sounds delicious ! Am definitely going to have to try it out! Happy it was a success !

  2. Let me know how it comes out for you! x