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Chu chi pla


chu chi pla

Chu Chi Pla

"Chu Chi Pla" is a delicious Thai dish featuring fish (usually a firm white fish) in a rich and flavourful red curry sauce. This is one of my favourite Thai fish dishes, which also works very well with salmon.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4


  • grinder (or mortar and pestle)
  • 1 Food processor
  • deep frying pan


Red curry paste

  • 12 whole dried red Thai bird chilies
  • 2 whole shallots (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 1 stalk lemon grass (thinly sliced - bottom half only)
  • 3 cm galangal (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 tsp kafir lime zest (or 2 chopped kafir lime leaves)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds (toasted)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp white pepper corn (toasted)
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Main dish

  • 2 whole fish (such as snapper or sea bass, cleaned and scaled)
  • 3 tbsp red curry paste (homemade or shop-bought)
  • cups thick coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (brown sugar)
  • 4 whole Kaffir lime leaves (torn into pieces
  • 4 whole Thai basil leaves (for garnish)
  • 2 whole - Red chili slices (sliced for garnish)
  • 300 g Vegetables of your choice such as Thai eggplants, bamboo shoots, or green beans


Prepare the red curry paste

  • Soak the dried red chilies in warm water for 15-20 minutes until they become pliable. Drain.
  • In a mortar and pestle or a food processor, grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and white peppercorns into a fine powder.
  • In a food processor, combine the soaked red chillies, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime zest or leaves, and the ground spice mixture. Add shrimp paste.
  • Blend the ingredients until you get a smooth and vibrant red paste. You might need to stop and scrape down the sides several times.
  • If the paste is too thick, you can add a little vegetable oil to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Store the red curry paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be kept for a few weeks, and you can also freeze it for longer storage.

Prepare the fish

  • - Clean and score the fish. Season with salt.

Prepare vegetables

  • - If using vegetables, prepare them by slicing them into bite-sized pieces.

Cook red curry paste

  • - Heat a pan over medium heat and add the red curry paste. Stir-fry for a few minutes until fragrant.

Add coconut milk

  • - Pour in the thick coconut milk and stir well with the curry paste.

Season the sauce

  • - Add fish sauce and palm sugar. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.

Cook the fish

  • - Gently place the fish into the simmering curry sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish.

Add vegetables

  • - Add the vegetables to the curry sauce. Allow everything to simmer until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Add aromatics

  • - Add torn kaffir lime leaves to the curry. Let it simmer for a few more minutes.

Garnish and serve

  • - Garnish with Thai basil leaves and red chili slices.
  • - Serve the Choo Chee Pla over steamed jasmine rice.


This recipe incorporates traditional Thai flavours and techniques. Adjust the ingredients and spice level to suit your preferences. Enjoy your authentic Chu Chi Pla!
Keyword chicken, choo, pla, salmon, white fish

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