Friday, January 23, 2015

a thought for my fellow cooks

While CB and I were eating lunch at Everest yesterday, I had a thought regarding curry dishes: I've violated Hindu principles by using heavy cream (a cow byproduct) instead of coconut milk in my chicken-and-shrimp curry dishes (see here and here), but I wonder whether it might be possible to switch out the heavy cream and use Korean duyu (soy milk) in its place. Duyu is a lot easier to find, in Korea, than coconut milk is, and the consistency—if you buy the more viscous brands, anyway—is just right for curry dishes. I doubt there'd be much of a taste difference, either: duyu, heavy cream, and coconut milk are all distinct, but very bland and fairly neutral—easily dominated by the flavor and punch of curry.

So! Do you think duyu is a plausible alternative to heavy cream and coconut milk? (I'm assuming that duyu behaves more or less like regular cow's milk when heated—i.e., it doesn't separate or curdle or do anything disgusting like that.)



Charles said...

Interesting idea, but I wonder about the consistency. Have you found a brand of duyu that has the same consistency as heavy cream or coconut milk? Maybe if you're talking about 콩국물, but that's going to be more likely to separate and/or curdle.

Consistency issues aside, I've never actually cooked with duyu, so I don't know how it will behave. I do know that if you heat it and add an acid, it will behave similarly to milk (that is, it will coagulate). But if you've used heavy cream in a recipe, you should be able to substitute duyu and not have anything disastrous happen. I think.

(Also, give plain yoghurt a try instead of heavy cream next time. In terms of texture, flavor, and healthiness, yoghurt wins out as far as I'm concerned.)

Kevin Kim said...

Good suggestions. Thanks.