Sometime last week, while googling for something, I hit on a recipe for laksa, a spicy noodle soup. It has many variants all around Asia with roots in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Burma.
I watched 3 videos of home cooks preparing laksa and downloaded a basic recipe. Once I had it in hand I immediately saw the possibilities for making my own version of it.
I won’t bore you with the details of how I made it my own, except to point out that we are fortunate in Denver to be able to get pretty much any Asia ingredient. So a trip to my favorite store garnered me everything I wanted.
12 oz. fresh Chinese egg noodles
1 14 oz. can low sodium chicken broth
1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
12 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp red curry paste
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ cup sliced pickled mustard leaves
¼ cup Chinese cilantro, chopped
juice of ½ a lime
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, sliced
10 red pickled chilis, finely chopped
2 scallions, chopped (both green and white parts)
Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to package directions, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Try to time the soup preparation below so that your noodles are ready at just the right time and, using a spider, transfer them.
Heat your wok over medium high heat. Add 2 tsp oil. When it is very hot, drop in the garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add 1/3 of the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the curry and turmeric and stir until fragrant.
Add the remainder of the coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp and watch carefully to see when they are almost opaque. Now add the noodles and cilantro and toss everything. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice.
Serve in heated bowls topped with red chilis and scallions to taste.
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