Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Laksa is a Malaysian staple, but there are several variations across the regions. In Penang we have the curry mee, and also a style of assam laksa called Penang laksa. I've spent years of my life sipping the soup of the curry mee, or sitting opposite my mum as she steals my vegies to add to her mee, and I was so delighted earlier this year to nom a whole lot of curry mee, which I rarely get to do if I don't first make it myself.
I am pretty easy going with my curry mee, but then, so are all the hawkers: I put potatoes in it this evening (nobody tell my mum, the addition of potato definitely wanders in to curry rather than laksa territory), and didn't have a chance to go see my Chinese grocer so didn't end up with any doufu (tofu) in it, though it usually does.
This is a very simple curry mee. You can subsitute the galangal for ginger if you really can't find any.
3 red chillis (with seeds) sliced
1 shallot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small piece of galangal, minced
1 tbl coriander seeds
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
some dried chillis
soup and so on
stalk or three of lemon grass
1 can coconut milk
1 can coconut cream
1 cup and a half of stock
1 carrot, julienned
snake beans (halved or in thirds)
choi sum (leaves shredded, stalks in lengths of five to ten cm)
faux prawns and fishballs
yellow mee (like the noodles you get in maggi packets) and beehoon (rice noodles)
Pound together the paste ingredients.
Prepare noodles. I like to soak the beehoon in hot water until soft, and boil the mee on the stove.
Over medium-high heat, fry the paste until fragrant. Add lemongrass, carrot, capsicum and snake beans. Continue to fry for about five minutes, then add coconut milk, stock, coconut cream, and lime juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for fifteen minutes, or until all the vegies are soft and tasty. Add the choi sum stalks. In the meantime steam the snow peas. Add snow peas, bean shoots, tofu, choi sum leaves and any faux seafoods to the pot. Heat through.
When you serve your laksa, remember to drown your noodles! The only reason my noodles aren't drowning in this picture is because it was the second serving, so I didn't have the proportions quite right.