Friday, June 5, 2009

Another curry post

The other day when I wrote about curries I didn't mention my personal favorite, Choo Chee Seafood Curry (#35 on True Thai's menu). Choo Chee curry is always made with seafood in Thailand so you can't have Choo Chee Curry with beef or pork — only with seafood!

Despite being seafood only, Choo Chee curry is not really a different kind of curry. It's made with coconut milk and red chili peppers so it's really just a specific kind of red curry. True Thai has many different kinds of red curries:

  • F. Red Curry with Kabocha Squash
  • 30. Red Curry
  • 34. Pineapple Curry
  • 35. Choo Chee Curry
  • 36. Grilled Seafood Curry
Earlier I told you how little Anna had to mash, mash, mash the chili peppers whenever my mom made curry for us. I did not tell you about how we also made our own coconut milk. No, you do not milk the coconut! I will admit however that once when I explained this process to a friend from Wisconsin, she told me that making coconut milk sounds a lot like making butter!

Coconut milk is not the liquid inside of the coconut. That is coconut juice and it is a very popular drink in Asia. explains how to make coconut milk:
Coconut milk is made by squeezing the grated flesh of a coconut with some hot water resulting in a rich white liquid that looks very much like cow's milk.
That is a very short description of a very long process. Little Anna's job was to grind and shred and squeeze and squeeze the coconut until my mom would finally approve of my work. She would then let the coconut milk stand until the "coconut cream" separated and rose to the top, just as cream rises to the top of whole milk. Coconut milk's top layer is very fatty just like dairy cream, and it was that coconut cream that my mom would use to make curry with.

If you have ever ordered True Thai's Lemon Chicken Soup to go and then let it sit in the refrigerator, I'm sure you have noticed how the coconut cream separates and rises to the top. (Shake the container vigorously before heating and serving!)

While all of True Thai's recipes (except one) are top, top secret, I will share with you a link to Sucheela's blog, in my tiny kitchen, and her recipe for Choo Chee Gung (shrimp curry). I found this blog last night and while it's not really about Thai cooking Sucheela is Thai and we Thai can't help but talk about our food now and then.