Updated: Jan 7
I was in Singapore when i tried Laksa for the first time. This, and risotto, are probably the two most significant dishes that made me want to learn to cook. I make my Laksa vegetarian. However, this book has a number of excellent recipes for Laksa with seafood or chicken.
here is my adapted version. Of course, this is a Sri Owen book.
For more recipes from this book click here.
Paste for laksa.
2-6 red jalapeños, cut in half and the seeds removed. These are spicy so watch out. These are now available at Safeway or Marina Market.
6 shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves
10 blanched almonds
1 heaped teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons galangal, available at Asian stores, Marina Market.
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste (optional). I make a vegetarian version so I do not add it.
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons tamarind extract, I buy the light colored one from any Indian store, one is near Wholefoods.
1/2 cup oil.
Grind all the ingredients till coriander powder, with as little water as possible, in a blender, to ge a smooth paste. The smoother the paste the better.
Add oil to a pot and the paste and tamarind and cook on a medium high flame to start and the. A medium flame till dry and the paste begins to fry and get a reddish-brown color. You should see the oil start to separate from the paste. Be patient and stir almost continuously, it takes time and is messy. The final paste will be like play dough with a shiny oily beautiful reddish color.
I make 3-4 times the recipe and freeze the paste for up to 1 year in ziploc bags.
Coconut milk, I like Chaokoh brand only.
Low sodium Chicken stock or water
Extra firm tofu
Mushrooms - shiitake, or other Asian mushrooms (Marina Market has a wonder variety, diced and pan sautéed.
Chicken breast or thigh filets, diced into small pieces.
Fish and shellfish of your choice: fish filets-red snapper, tilapia, salmon, prawns, clams, mussels, crab meat other
Bok choi, diced
Cilantro leaves, 1/2 bunch of only leaves, diced fin
Egg noodles of your choice, thin or thicker.
Scallions, cut into fine rings
Mongolian hot oil
Thai pickled red bird’s eye chiles
Laoganma spicy chili crisp (these are all available at Marina)
Crunchy garlic chili topping (available at Suruki Market in San Mateo on 4th street.)
Add 3-5 tablespoons of paste to a deep pot and a touch of oil and cook for 2-3 minutes breaking up the pieces. Add the coconut milk and some water. I use a 1 can coconut milk to 1 can water/chicken stock ratio, but you can make it more or less coconut flavored based on preference. Add all the vegetables to the seafood and simmer gently, do not boil, for 10 minutes breaking up the curry paste pieces. Add the chicken and desired seafood and cook for an additional 20 minutes till the chicken is cooked. If using clams and mussels add right before you serve, add to soup and simmer gently till they open, about 5-7 minutes.
Turn off the stove and add the bok choi, cilantro and stir. Do this just as you serve the dish as you don’t want the bok choi to get mushy, they should be crunchy, but cooked.
Cook the noodles and serve on the side.
Lay out the ready soup, the noodles and accompaniments and allow each person to make their own bowl.
It may seem a bit too much, but as you now know it is so worth the effort. This is how much care I take for each meal I make for each of you.