Thailand – Kaeng Phet

by Fauzan Anandika

Those who loved MMA (Mix Martial Art) championship must know that Muay Thai is one of the deadliest martial art. Muay Thai is a martial art from Thailand known for its speed attack. Muay word comes from the Sanskrit language means punch martial art. Muay Thai also called The Art of Eight Limbs because the technique focus on using a punch, kick, knee, and elbow. 

Muay Thai practitioners claim that this martial art already exists for more than 2.000 years. In the Thai kingdom, Muay Thai evolved from Muay Boran (ancient boxing). Thai people believed that the military was the one who creates Muay Thai. Muay then becomes a sport where two fighters fight each other in front of the audience. Muay Thai evolve not only as a military fighting technique but turn as entertaining sports. Muay championship starts to appear in every big city in the Thai kingdom and become a royal entertainment for the Thai kings. Muay then becomes a way to make a living since the royals start to honor the Muay’s practitioners.  

Despite their rough martial art, Thailand people have a lot of delicious food that could attract tourists. As a part of Southeast Asia, they are known for their spice and rich taste of food. Kaeng Phet is one of them. A red curry dish made with coconut milk and meat, usually beef, pork, and beef. They use a traditional curry spice named prik gaeng ped made from fresh ingredient ground using mortar and pestle. 

The red curry uses cayenne pepper, dried chili, shallot, garlic, galangal, shrimp paste, lime, coriander, pepper, white cumin, and lemongrass. When visiting Thailand, you can buy the instant red curry powder in any department store to get the authentic taste of red curry. For vegetarians, they can use tofu, vegetarian beef, or pumpkin to substitute meat. But since the spice use shrimp paste, it can’t be categorized as a fully vegetarian dish. Kaeng Phet usually serves with a side of warm rice.

In this recipe, we will make Kaeng Phet using duck meat instead of pork or beef. So, prepare your cookware, and let’s start cooking.


  • 600-gram duck breast cut into 8 part
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 600 ml of thick coconut milk
  • 130 ml of chicken broth

Spice number 1

  • 1 tablespoon of coriander grain
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • 10 pieces of dried red chili, soak with hot water, and remove the seed
  • 6 sheet of lime leaves, remove the stalks
  • 4 pieces of cayenne pepper
  • 4 pieces of shallot, minced
  • 3 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 cm of galangal
  • 3 stalk of lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalk of coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste

Spice number 2

  • 150-gram tomatoes
  • 70-gram bay leaves
  • 4 sheet of lime leaves
  • 2 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

How to cook

  1. Rub duck breast with lime juice and salt.
  2. Move it into a heat resistant plate.
  3. Roast in the oven with 200 degree Celsius heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Roast cumin and coriander until fragrant. Set aside and grind with the other number 1 spice.
  5. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan, add spice number 1 and cook until fragrant.
  6. Lower the heat, add the duck breast and coconut milk. Stir until boiling.
  7. Add spice number 2 and chicken broth, cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Kaeng Phet is ready to be served.
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