Monday, 28 February 2011

Lots of Laksa

A bowl of this will improve your well-being
As I raided the fridge on my return from Florida, desperate for something delicious and semi-healthy, all I found was plates of left over pizza that Boyfriend had presumably been saving for me. Very sweet but not what I faniced. Having flown in on the red eye and done a day in the office, I got an email from him saying 'Can you do something quite light for dinner please? I had a big lunch.' What a charmer!

There is a magical little jar of Indonesian laksa paste that sits at the back of my fridge, and when I caught sight of the borderline fresh pak choi in the veg drawer and ice cream tub of chicken stock it had to be laksa. I sent Boyfriend to the shops to get some prawns and made the 20 minute miracle that is a big bowl of beautiful laksa.  I love to make my own curry pastes, but lets face it, I was hungry and jet lagged, and there is nothing at all wrong with a bought paste in this kind of situation! This feeds 2 generously.

To make laksa, bring approx 2ltrs chicken stock to a gentle simmer and stir in as much laska paste as you want, depending on how hot you like it. You can use thai red or green curry paste instead if you like, still lush. Add to the cauldron a few slices of ginger and some sliced garlic and let it infuse for a few minutes. Pour in about half a tin of coconut milk (you can always add more later, just keep tasting). The soup will taste quite hot but bland so add the juice of a lime and a few tbsp fish sauce. The trick is to keep tasting and to acheive the wonderful balance of hot and sour, you can also add a bit of sugar for a hint of sweetness if you like. Once the balance is right, add noodles, any type, it doesn't matter, any combo of veg, I used sliced carrot and pak choi, don't cook the hell out of the veg, keep a nice crunch, and then right at the last minute throw in some raw king prawns. They need literally a minute and when they have gone pink they're done. Chicken and beef (left over cooked or raw) would be great too. Sprinkle with fresh chopped coriander and chopped chillies if you love it hot, and slurp away.

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