• Chu Chi Shrimp (Keang Chu Chi Goong)

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    • 1 1/2 lb large shrimp shelled, deveined Sea salt as needed
    • 2 c. vegetable oil
    • 2 c. Fresh Unsweetened Coconut Cream plus
    • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Unsweetened Coconut Cream (procedure below)
    • 1/2 c. Chu-Chi Chile Paste (see below)
    • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (namm pla)
    • 2 Tbsp. palm sugar or possibly light brown sugar
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 6 x garlic cloves chopped
    • 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro roots and stems
    • 1 x dry New Mexico (or possibly California) chile softened in hot water and seeded
    • 15 x dry de arbol or possibly Japones chiles softened in hot water
    • 1 Tbsp. dry shrimp softened in hot water and pureed, (optional)
    • 1/2 tsp Thai white peppercorns dry roasted, and grnd
    • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds dry roasted, and grnd
    • 1 tsp chopped galangal (or possibly 1 tbspn chopped fresh ginger)
    • 1 x lemongrass stalk green parts and hard outer layers removed, chopped
    • 1 tsp grated kaffir lime zest (or possibly 1 tbspn grated regular lime zest)
    • 2 x shallots chopped
    • 1 Tbsp. fresh grated coconut flakes
    • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste (or possibly 1 Tbsp. red miso)
    • 6 x fresh red bird or possibly serrano chiles - (to 7) 1/2 seeded, other 1/2 not, and slivered
    • 15 x fresh mint leaves sliced thin strands
    • 10 x kaffir lime leaves sliced thin strands (or possibly 1/4 c. chopped cilantro leaves)


    1. Massage the shrimp with a few pinches of sea salt and place in a colander in the sink to drain for 10 min. Rinse with cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
    2. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over high heat for 2 min to 325 degrees. (You can also test for readiness by dipping the tip of a wooden spoon into the oil; if bubbles form around it, the oil is ready for frying.) Deep-fry the shrimp till golden brown, 1 to 2 min. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a tray lined with paper towels. Cover lightly with more paper towels and set aside.
    3. In a 12-inch skillet, mix the 2 c. coconut cream with the chile paste and set over high heat. Cook, stirring to prevent the paste from burning, till the mix begins to bubble, about 2 min. Lower the heat to medium-high and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, till the mix thickens and the oil separates, releasing tiny bubbles the color of the chile paste, about 7 min.
    4. Add in the fried shrimp, stirring to coat well, increase the heat to high, and season with the fish sauce and palm sugar. Cook, stirring well, for 1 to 2 min, then transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with the fresh chile slivers, mint leaf strands, and kaffir lime leaf strands.
    5. Chu-Chi Chile Paste: Using a mortar and pestle, lb. the sea salt and garlic into a paste. One at a time, add in the cilantro roots and stems, chiles, dry shrimp, if you like, the peppercorns, caraway seeds, galangal, lemongrass, lime zest, and shallots in sequence, adding each new ingredient only after the previous one is pureed and incorporated into the paste. Add in the grated coconut and mix well, then add in the fermented shrimp paste and mix well. The chile paste can be stored in the refrigerator for at least 1 month. (
    6. Makes about 3/4 c.)
    7. Fresh Unsweetened Coconut Cream and Lowfat milk: Fresh unsweetened coconut cream and lowfat milk are called for in many Thai recipes. After peeling the dark skins off the chunks of white meat, cut the meat into 1 to 2-inch chunks and place them in a heavy-duty food processor fitted with the steel blade. (If the coconut meat has been frzn, thaw it completely before slicing and grinding.) Grind for 30 to 60 seconds. Pause to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl; then pulse and blend till the meat turns to pulp. Add in 1 c. hot water and process for 30 seconds. Transfer the coconut meat and liquid to a large mixing bowl, preferably one with a spout for pouring. "Lowfat milk" the coconut - which is, massage and squeeze the meat at least 89 times. This is a Thai ritual believed to produce a rich and creamy coconut lowfat milk. It works!
    8. Place a fine-mesh strainer, potato ricer, or possibly bouillon strainer over another large mixing bowl. Pour the coconut cream and meat into the strainer, then press firmly to extract the liquid from the pulp. Chill the liquid for at least 1 hour. The thick cream will coagulate on top, leaving the whey, or possibly lowfat milk, in the bottom of the bowl. Skim off the thick cream into a resealable plastic bag or possibly plastic container and chill or possibly freeze.
    9. Meanwhile, put the coconut pulp back into the first mixing bowl. Pour 3 c. of hot water over the pulp, and massage and squeeze the coconut meat another 89 times. Strain the liquid into another bowl, as before, and chill the liquid for at least 1 hour, giving the thick cream time to rise to the top.
    10. Skim off the cream and combine with the thick cream extracted from the first milking. Pour the thin whey into a separate glass or possibly plastic container and chill till ready to use.
    11. This recipe yields 6 servings.
    12. Cooks
    13. Note: More cream which can be used as veg. oil can be extracted from the thin whey after the second milking. Boil the lowfat milk gently in a large saucepan for 5 to 7 min. When the cream rises to the surface, skim it off and use as veg. oil to stir-fry chile or possibly spice pastes. Then thin lowfat milk can be used for a broth to cook and tenderize meat.

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