When I think back to the year I spent in Australia, I have fond memories of sleepy koala, spacious, sunny beaches and Choo Chee Chicken from Madame Wu's in North Adelaide.
North Adelaide is hailed for its diverse restaurant district with rows of restaurants ranging from delis to gourmet dining. Of all the excellent options, Madame Wu's had, in my opinion, the best food Down Under and is most famous for its Choo Chee Chicken dish. After several unsuccessful attempts to trick the chefs into handing over the recipe, Madame Wu herself finally divulged a few of her secrets before I returned to the states.
Following several cooking endeavors and a few small kitchen fires, I believe I have come close to reproducing the original. I have never posted, or had the inclination to post, a recipe online before but when friends and family have this dish, they assume I can actually cook so here it is for your enjoyment.
Ingredients to serve four:
2-3 lbs. chicken breast fillet cut into ¼ inch strips
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
3-4 fresh red chili peppers
2 cans coconut milk
¾ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemongrass
½ teaspoon grated lime rind
3 finely chopped basil leaves
1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon grated ginger
3 chopped spring onions
White or black cracked pepper
2 finely chopped cilantro leaves
Four cups white rice
Place two cups of whole milk in a saucepan an add one tablespoon of sugar and chicken breast strips.
Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
Once it reaches a boil, remove chicken strips.
Heat sesame oil in wok over high heat and add chicken.
Stir chicken until brown and add chopped red chili peppers.
Stir for one minute.
Add two cans of coconut milk and ¾ cup sour cream.
Stir in one tablespoon of red curry paste, one tablespoon sugar, one teaspoon salt, grated lemon grass, grated lime rind, chopped basil, chopped garlic, and ½ teaspoon ginger.
Add spring onions and cracked pepper and simmer on low for five minutes.
Serve on white rice.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!
For a vegetarian version, replace chicken with equal amounts of tofu or paneer.