Bebek Betutu (Balinese Roast Duck)

  • Serves

    serves 4 - 6


In Bali, this aromatic chile and garlic stuffed duck is wrapped in coconut tree bark and steamed. We found it bakes beautifully rubbed in coconut oil and covered in aluminum foil. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with David McAninch's article The World of Duck.


  • 1 Long Island or Pekin duck
  • 13 cup coconut oil
  • 1 12 tbsp. tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tsp. shrimp paste
  • 1 tbsp. grated palm sugar
  • 3 tsp. kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 small Asian shallots or 3 regular shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 candlenuts
  • 6 fresh small Thai red chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 (3") piece galangal, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 (3") piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 (2 1/2") piece turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced, or 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 5 fresh curry leaves
  • Thinly sliced Kaffir lime leaves, for garnish
  • Cooked white rice and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, for serving (optional)


Step 1

Heat oven to 350°. Place duck on a double thickness of aluminum foil, enough to completely wrap it. Stir 2 tbsp. oil, 2 tsp. tamarind, 1 tbsp. salt, and shrimp paste in a bowl; rub mixture all over outside of duck; set aside.

Step 2

Purée remaining oil and tamarind, plus sugar, kecap manis, garlic, shallots, candlenuts, chiles, galangal, ginger, turmeric, and salt in a food processor until smooth; stir in curry leaves. Stuff half the paste inside duck; rub remaining paste on outside. Wrap tightly in foil and place in a roasting pan; bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of leg reads 175°, about 1½ hours. Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 450°. Bake until duck is brown and slightly crisp, 25–30 minutes. Rest 20 minutes before carving. Garnish with lime leaves; serve with rice, cucumber, and tomatoes, if you like.

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