Immune Booster

Bitter Melon ``Choo Chee`` Curry with Fragrant Fingerroot


Many people are curious when they hear of the strangely named Choo Chee curry but the origin of the dish’s name is fairly straightforward. In the past, Thai cooks noticed the loud sizzling sound when coconut milk and curry paste were boiled together and named the curry accordingly. The dish is prepared by stir-frying curry paste and added coconut milk and stirring until it becomes a thick curry. Once it has thickened, the curry is poured over a fish, seasoned and garnished with red and green chili peppers. Some cooks add coconut flesh to make the dish even creamier.

The original recipe was found in the first-ever Thai cookbook, dated 1909, and was known as Sheatfish in Choo Chee Curry Soup.

These days mackerel, climbing perch, or any other freshwater fish may be used and Choo Chee curries featuring pork are also not unheard of either. Modern chefs have created untold variations on Choo Chee with the bitter gourd version gaining immense popularity. The slight bitterness combines well with the intensely sweet and salty notes and the creamy coconut milk. This nutritious revamp of a Thai classic is one dish that all food lovers should sample.

Health Benefits

‘Bitter Gourd “Choo Chee” Curry with Fragrant Fingerroot’ contains the main ingredient like “Bitter gourd” with high vitamin C which boosts immunity, anti-virus infection, and helps prevent COVID-19, and ‘Basil’ is high in vitamins and minerals. More importantly, it is also full of antioxidants that are good for every cell in the body.

  • ‘Bitter gourd’ can help boost the body’s immunity functions.*
  • ‘Fingerroot’ relieves cough and cold symptoms.**
  • ‘Shallots’ prevent inflammation and fight off bacteria and viruses.


  • bitter squash 100 gr
  • choochee curry paste 50 gr
  • coconut milk 200 gr
  • white pepper 5 gr
  • lesser galangal 5 gr
  • sweet basil 2 gr
  • big chili 5 gr
  • kaffir lime leaf 2 gr
  • fish sauce 20 gr
  • palm sugar 10 gr


Scrub the bitter gourd with salted water to reduce bitterness.

Blanch the bitter gourd in boiling water.

Stir-fry the choochee curry paste and coconut milk and mix them together and flavour with fix sauce, palm sugar and pepper.

Cover the bitter gourd with the curry paste mixture.

Top with coconut milk and a garnish of chili and kaffir lime leaves and serve.

*Fachinan R, et al. Evidence of Immunosuppressive and Th2 Immune Polarizing Effects of Antidiabetic Momordica charantia Fruit Juice. BioMed Research International. 2017. Article ID 9478048
**Chong TE, et al. Boesenbergia rotunda: From Ethnomedicine to Drug Discovery. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012; Article ID 473637
***Russo M, Spagnuolo C, Tedesco, The flavonoid quercetin in disease prevention and therapy: facts and fancies. Biochem Pharmacol. 2012;83(1):6-15.