Laksa :Malaysian Seafood Soup
I first heard about Laksa in the year 2007 when I read an article in the DNA about Laksa made by Nelson Wang.He gave a simple recipe that included getting Laksa paste from Crawford Market,which I did but with great difficulty.There was only one bottle available! The end product made it all worth while.My cousin's friend likes Laksa so much that she carries home a bowl of this street food every time she passes through Singapore Airport.
My uncle Tuhin used to live in Langkawi,Malaysia.He told me that the best Laksa is from Penang and that a family there had a age old secret recipe to the dried shrimp paste which was the crucial element to this wonderful one dish meal.The one from Penang is called Curry Mee and has pork blood.There is an Asam Laksa which is a sour fish soup made of mackerels and tamarind.Penang is also home to the smelly Durian fruit which is eaten with rice.
I was mighty thrilled when my friends Kainaz and Kalyan gave me a packet of Curry Laksa.
The paste has lemon grass,lime leaves,curry leaves,fennel,galangal,coriander,cumin and candlenut(a nut unique to South East Asia but quite like a macadamia nut).It has to be added to boiling water and a small quantity of coconut milk.In Australia some people add milk instead.Laksa is made with seafood (such as shrimps and mussels) or with chicken.It is poured over noodles,tofu and bean sprouts and garnished with browned onions, minced garlic, boiled egg halves and mint leaves.A dash of hot Sambal Chilli paste at the end completes the picture.A meal in itself!