clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Duck rendang on a grey plate with a portion of Sri Lankan Yellow Rice.

Duck Rendang

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooking
  • Cuisine: Indonesian


This easy, rich, fall-apart tender Duck Rendang curry recipe may take a few hours to make, but includes barely any hands-on time, the homemade curry paste whizzing up in just moments in the food processor. 



For the Duck Rendang

  • 2 x duck legs
  • 300ml full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • juice of 1/2 large lime

For the Rendang Curry Paste

  • 1 red chilli
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 35g fresh ginger
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 3/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil (plus extra for frying, see note)


  1. Place the duck legs, skin side down in a small, lidded, heavy bottomed frying pan or shallow casserole. Set it over a medium low heat, and cook for about 15 minutes on each side until golden and the fat has rendered out of the skin. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add the chilli (roughly chopped, including the seeds), red onion (roughly chopped), ginger (peeled and roughly chopped), garlic cloves (peeled), lemongrass (finely sliced), and the rest of the curry paste ingredients, except for the coconut oil, to a small bowl food processor or mini chopper. Blitz until everything is well chopped. Then, scrape down the sides, add the melted coconut oil, and blitz again into the smoothest paste you can manage.
  3. Add the curry paste to the rendered duck fat and fry gently, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and 350ml of water, then return the duck legs to the pan. Turn up the heat to bring the mixture to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to low (I cook this recipe on number 3/9 on my electric hob). Place the lid on and simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Give everything a good stir, and cook the duck, uncovered for a further 1 hour and 45 minutes, turning the duck legs over a couple of times in the sauce during this time, giving it a gentle stir each time. You’ll want to keep an eye to make sure the paste and duck are not sticking and burning on the bottom of the pot in the final 45 minutes. 
  6. Stir in the brown sugar and lime juice, and set the curry aside for 5 minutes whilst you get on with the sides. Once the oil has separated to the top of the curry with resting, skim it off the top and discard. Then set the curry over a very, very low heat with the lid back on to keep warm until everything else is ready and it’s time to eat.


Farmed duck legs might stick to the pan when you’re cooking the skin, so add a little coconut oil to fry them in. Free range duck legs should crisp up without any additional help!