Darley Street Thai Chuu-Chii (Red Curry) of Coffin Bay Scall
|3 to 5||each||
dried red chiles
|2 to 3||tablespoons||
red curry paste
kaffir lime leaves
red chili peppers
Though the recipe may seem dauntingly lengthy, most of it is simply a long list of ingredients for red curry paste, which can be made in quantity and stored in a container in the fridge for 3 -4 weeks for further use.
Grate the limes for zest while they are stir frozen.
In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind to a powder 10 white peppercorns and a few sheaves of mace.
Roast 1 teaspoon of Thai shrimp paste by zapping it in a microwave oven or putting it on a little piece of foil under the grill.
Put the pepper-mace mixture and the shrimp paste in a blender and add 3- 5 long red dried chillies, deseeded, washed and chopped, 4 cloves of true shallots, (or substitute the same quantity of Spanish onion), ½ stalk of lemon grass, sliced, 1 teaspoon galangal. peeled and chopped, ½ teaspoon kaffir lime zest, 1 tablespoon of coriander root, scraped and chopped, ½ teaspoon of salt and a little water.
Process to a very fine paste.
This may take up to 10 minutes.
Transfer to a storage jar.
In a medium-size pan, boil 250 mL coconut cream over high heat, stirring constantly, until the oil separates out, about 3 to 5 minutes. (If using canned coconut cream, don't shake the can -use the solid mass of coconut at the top of the can, plus as much of the rest as you need to make up 250mL.
If it doesn't separate within 5 minutes, add a tablespoon of oil.) Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of red curry paste and fry for 5 minutes, stirring, until fragrant.
Add 1 tablespoon fish sauce, ½ tablespoon palm sugar and fry until colour deepens.
Add 24 Coffin Bay scallops (12 if other dishes will be served simultaneously) and 125 mL coconut milk.
Check for sweet-sour balance.
Throw in 5 kaffir lime leaves, shredded, 1 large fresh red chilli, julienned, and 2 tablespoons of either coriander or basil leaves.
Serve with jasmine rice.