Tuesday, 25 November 2008

curry mee (or curry laksa)

curry mee/curry laksa

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.

Curry Mee

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
4 cashews
some dried chillis

soup and so on
stalk or three of lemon grass
lime juice
1 can coconut milk
1 can coconut cream
1 cup and a half of stock
1 carrot, julienned
snake beans (halved or in thirds)
snow peas
bean shoots
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.


Claire said...

I can't tell you how much I love learning about your food culture! Thank you for always writing about the different curries, etc. I need to make my own chili paste more often instead of buying jarred- do you think i could make a lot and freeze it, sealedd tightly? and are the chilis fresh or dried?

Being of German-British descent from Midwest america, with very boring or heavy, non-vegetable food culture, I love reading your posts. If you have any recommendations on substitutes for specific greens or ingredients, please include them. I live in Philadelphia now, but it's hard to get to the asian grocery just to make soup. But I'd like recommendations on simliar tastes or textures of the vegetables, if you have ideas. Thank you!!!!

Mandee said...

Looks delish! Thanks for sharing your recipe, I'm hungry now and it's not even lunch time!

a vegan about town said...

Claire: you can freeze the curry paste, or you can make a small jar of it and leave it in your fridge and it's good for a couple of weeks. I just make the paste fresh every time I cook though, it's part of the joy of curry making for me, though there's not always the time. And I'm sure your food is interesting! Everyone's food always is - I mean, it's just boring because you're used to it. When I was a kid I used to love eating roasts because they were so unusual!

With similar textures, hmm. Most normal supermarkets in Australia have Asian vegies available, but I don't know about the US at all. If your local supermarket doesn't, I'd recommend using normal cabbage in stirfries (in place of chinese cabbage or leafy greens), and you'd shred that. I don't know of a replacement for the leafy greens in curries though! Snow peas and snake beans are good to use. I'll try to keep that in mind when I'm posting recipes!

a vegan about town said...

Mandee, I then had the left over laksa for lunch and it was awesome. :o)

ZuckerBaby said...

Thanks for poking me and inspiring me to give the laksa paste a try! When I've polished off the giant bottle of paste that I have (not far to go, actually!) I'll be trying your recipe! Yum!!

a vegan about town said...

Ahaha, ZB that was very fast of you! Definitely give it a go, it gives the soup a slightly different texture but it's part of the fun. :o)