This Thai choo chee curry salmon is simple but absolutely delicious. With the simplest of ingredients it's a tasty way of serving salmon where it gently poaches in a deliciously rich red curry coconut sauce. If you love Thai flavours please give this Salmon Choo Chee a try!
I'm always trying to find ways to add fish to my diet, especially heart healthy fish like salmon. But you can use any sort of fish in this curry. The main components of a Choo Chee curry are red curry paste and coconut milk or cream.
Thai Choo Chee curry is from the Southern and Central areas of Thailand and the name Choo Chee comes from the sound of the spice paste frying in the pan as it is a drier curry than others although adaptions of it show a curry with plenty of sauce.
Coconut milk and creams are not all are created equal. Coconut milks and creams vary vastly in the amount of fat and creaminess in them. My favourite brand of coconut cream and milk is Kara and comes in a cardboard pack in various sizes from tiny 65ml triangles to 1 litre boxes. I try and keep a few sizes in my pantry depending on what I'm making. You can use either coconut milk or cream in this recipe - the milk will be lighter in calories and fat but the cream tastes richer and give a more restaurant quality result.
Curry Paste: Conversely, when nI get asked about which Thai curry paste I recommend and I have to say that none of them really stand out as much as a home made one. If you want to make your own, I have a recipe here for homemade Thai red curry paste and it tastes better than commercial ones.
Winter is kale season! Did you know that the cold weather and frost improves the flavour of kale? There are two main types of kale available, curly kale with lighter green frilly leaves and Tuscan kale or Cavalo Nero with broad, dark green leaves. I prefer Tuscan kale because it has a smoother texture and doesn't need as much cooking as curly kale (it is also great with longer cooking as it stays together better than other types of spinach). Also Tuscan kale stems are more tender than curly kale's woodier stem.
Kaffir lime leaves: Kaffir limes are different to regular limes or Persian limes that we usually get. Kaffir lime leaves are used more in cooking than the fruit. The fruit is knobbly and lumpy and hasn't got much juice and are bitter (they're more commonly used for medicinal purposes). To cut up kaffir lime leaves, remove the centre stem of the kaffir lime leaf and then roll up the leaves and slice thinly. If you have an excess of them, they freeze well. I place them in a small ziplock bag and they last for 9-12 months in the freezer.
And thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, we are giving away three copies of the book "Bangkok in 12 Dishes: How to Eat Like You Live There" by Leanne Kitchen and Antony Suvalko! In it there are mini guides to finding the best food, a self guided eating tour, markets, bars and gifts in a pocket sized guide. There are handy picture guides so you know what you are looking for. Dear Reader, we will travel again one day and this will perk up your spirits.
All you have to do is tell me what your favourite Thai dish is! Answer as a comment to this story and the competition closes at noon 21st August 2020 AEST. This competition is open to readers in Australia. Good luck to everyone that enters! xxx
ETA: The winners are:
Annie W of Tasmania
Annaliese K of Victoria
Emily L of Victoria
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Salmon Choo Chee Thai Curry
Rated 4.95833333333 out of 5 by 24 readers
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 16 minutes
- 500g/1.1lbs salmon fillets
- Salt for seasoning
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale or spinach
- 1 onion, sliced
- Oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
- 5 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 large red or 2 small red chillies
- 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs. water or chicken stock
- 1 cup/250ml/8.8flozs. coconut milk or cream
Step 1 - Season the salmon fillets with salt and set aside. Cut the kale or spinach into smaller pieces. I cut each one into four or five pieces separating out the ends of the stalks (they'll need a little longer to cook).
Step 2 - Add oil to a large frying pan and fry onion until soft. Add the red curry paste and fry for a minute. Then add the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, kaffir lime leaves and chillies. Add the stalks of the kale or spinach and cook for a minute, then add the rest of the leaves and the water or stock. Cook for a minute and then push the kale to the side.
Step 3 - Add the coconut milk or cream and stir. Then add the salmon fillets to the pan skin side down and spoon the sauce over the fish. Place the lid on the saucepan and steam for 10 minutes on medium heat. Spoon the sauce over the fish and then taste for seasoning. It may need a bit more sugar, lime juice or fish sauce depending on your taste.
Note: I also added some pieces of steamed sweet potato just because I had them and I like adding vegetables to meals.