First day of secondary school, first maths class and I found a friend for life, though when she first met me she was slightly scared as I was a bit of a crazy child (her words not mine) (sounds worse than it is but I tried to stab her with a pair of compasses)….anyway. We have been friends for a very long time now and at the moment I miss her very much as for the past year she’s been living at the other side of the world in China. I visited her in May which was absolutely brilliant but made me miss her even more once I got back home. She herself is half Malaysian and several years ago we visited her family and friend over there, so today’s food feast is a tribute to her with Malaysian inspired dishes and my own take on the national dish Laksa.
Laksa is a spicy coconut soup with noodles and from there you can add whatever you want. Just like a lot of curries, there are no strict rules as to what you put in and that’s how I like to cook…with what’s left in the fridge or cupboard. There are hundreds of varieties of Laksa across Malaysia and the most popular main ingredients are prawns, pork, tofu or simply vegetables. If you want to add meat, cook first then add just before serving. With Seafood or fish, cook in the broth in the last 5 minutes. This is a quick meal if you have the paste already made or you can pick up Laksa paste from your local Chinese superstore, its normally called Singapore Laksa
For the Paste: For the Soup: And a little bit of what you like, I used:
1 medium white/red onion, sliced 500ml Veg 2 Medium Carrots
3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced 400ml Coconut milk 200g Green Beans
a thumb of ginger, finely sliced 1tsp Salt 2 Sweet Peppers
2 lemon grass stalks 2tsp Sugar 100g Bamboo Shoots
2tsp ground corriander 100g of noodles of your choice
3 chillies, more or less for your taste
2tsp curry powder
4tbsp vegetable oil
1. Put all of the paste ingredients in a food processor, add half the oil and blitz to a semi smooth paste.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan or wok and fry the paste on a low heat for 10 mins stirring all the time to release the flavors. Dont let it burn!
3. Add the stock, salt, sugar and coconut milk and simmer gently for 30 mins.
4. While the soup is simmering, cook your choice of noodles (and any meat) but drain them just before cooked.
5. At 25mins of simmering, add the veg and noodles, and any seafood, meat or tofu.
6. Add lime juice and a handful of coriander leaves if you have any, taste and season if necessary.
7. Serve in bowls alongside your salad and rice.
Satay Salad Ingredients
For the Sauce For the Salad
2tbsp Peanut Butter 6 Radishes sliced
1tbsp Dark soy quarter cucumber sliced
1 garlic bulb, finely sliced quarter of sliced lettuce
a thumb of ginger, finely sliced 3 spring onions, finely sliced
1tbsp of chilli oil
1tbsp of olive oil/peanut oil
1. Add all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and mix. You can put it in the microwave for 30 seconds if the peanut butter is quite thick.
2. You can choose whatever salad veg you like, the ingredients I used are listed above but feel free to mix it up. Finely slice any you use and trickle the sauce over or leave in a bowl to serve.