Curry laksa with white cooked chicken

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I left China to study in Australia in late 1980s. When I was in University, I worked in an Asian restaurant during some evenings, waiting at tables together with a lovely young lady called Linda. Linda was from Malaysia, a medical student at University of New South Wales. Petite, quiet and super intelligent, Linda had a wonderful personality with gentleness and calm. She always listened patiently to my grunts and dropped a few humorous comments from time to time. One day, she went to the kitchen and made us Malaysian curry laksa for supper. The laska was very different to the Thai version I had at various restaurant. When I was enjoying the laksa, I  felt that I really missed home, not my own, but Linda’s home at Malaysia, and it was a wonderful feeling.

Malaysian curry laksa with chicken

And here is my version of curry laksa…

Laksa paste

Ingredients

(this will make a large batch to serve 6-8; you can freeze the unused paste for next time)

  • 3 medium onion (or 8 Asian shallot), roughly diced
  • 2 stalk of lemon grass, chopped
  • 20g galangal, chopped
  • 4 stall of shallot (scallion), white part only, roughly chopped
  • 20g coriander, stalk only, roughly chopped
  • 8 red chilies, medium hot, remove seeds, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbs turmeric
  • 1 tbs shrimp paste
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs palm sugar
  • 3 tbs fried shallot
  • 2 kaffir lime leafs, roughly sliced
  • a little water to blend the paste

Method

In a blender, add all ingredients, blend till smooth. If you wish, leave the paste in fridge overnight for the flavors to develop.

White cooked chicken

Ingredients

  • 300g chicken breast fillet
  • piece of ginger
  • a few stalk of shallot (scallion)

Method

  • In a good quality pot  (I use a dutch oven), pour in sufficient water to cover the chicken pieces
  • bring the water to boil, add all of the ingredients; bring the water to boil again, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid; leave the pot on the stove for approximately 30 minutes
  • check if the chicken is cooked after 30 minutes; if not, turn the heat to low for further 15 minutes or until the chicken is gently cooked through
  • slice chicken into pieces

Curry Laksa

(serves 2-4)

Ingredients

  • 150g dry rice vermicelli, cooked per instruction on the pack
  • 150g bean sprout, flash boiled in hot water for 2 minutes
  • 300g white cooked chicken (as above)
  • 150g laksa paste (as above)
  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 300ml chicken stock (use the stock from the white cooked chicken would be sufficient)
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 lime, cut in 1/4
  • 4 kaffir lime leafs
  • 2 tbs cooking oil
  • fried shallot, to garnish

Method

  • In a frying pan, add cooking oil, bring to high heat; add laksa paste, stir fry until aromatic; add coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce & kaffir lime leafs, bring to boil
  • In a bowl, lay out some bean sprouts at the bottom, then a layer of rice vermicelli, then a layer of white cut chicken slices;  pour some soup on top; squeeze a little lime juice all over;  garnish with fried shallot
  • Repeat with a few more bowls of noodles

 

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