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Darley Street Thai Chuu Chii Red Curry


1 stephen ceideburg
10 white peppercorns
1 mace
1 tsp thai shrimp paste
3 to 5 long red dried chillies
4 cloves shallots
1/2 stalk lemon grass
1 tsp galangal
1/2 tsp kaffir lime zest
1 tbsp chopped coriander root
1/2 tsp salt
250 ml coconut cream
2 tbsp to 3 tb red curry paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp palm sugar
24 coffin bay scallops
125 ml coconut milk
5 kaffir lime leaves
1 large fresh red chilli, julienned
2 tbsp coriander leaves
1 jasmine rice

A colleague who recently visited the Darley Street Thai at its new
location in Bayswater Road, Kings Cross, described this dish as
"exquisite". 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. Frozen kaffir limes can be bought very
cheaply in good Asian stores, where the rest of the ingredients
listed should also be avail- able. 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 (David
recommends a blender but some of us will have to make do with a food
processor or the mortar and pestle) 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), 1/2 stalk of
lemon grass, sliced, 1 teaspoon galangal. peeled and chopped, 1/2
teaspoon kaffir lime zest, 1 tablespoon of coriander root, scraped
and chopped, 1/2 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 3-5 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 2-3 tablespoons of red curry paste and
fry for 5 minutes, stirring, until fra- grant. Add 1 tablespoon fish
sauce, 1/2 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.

From an article by Meryl Constance in The Sydney Morning Herald,
6/15/93. Courtesy Mark Herron.


Servings: 4



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