* Curry Laksa

Posted on September 6th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Chicken, Entree, Malaysian, Noodles, Shrimp, Soup, Street Foods.


There are many different kinds of laksa.  Generally speaking, laksa is a spicy broth, frequently made with a coconut cream base, served with a variety of meats and herbs.  In this simpler version of curry laksa, more commonly found in the hawker centers of PJ, it’s usually just chicken and “kerang” cockles.  I have substituted the blood-y shellfish with oysters or shrimp to be more acceptable to folks this side of the Pacific!

I always like my laksa noodle “yin yeung” ie a mix of egg noodles and rice noodles.

Chef’s tip: The last drizzle of coconut milk gives a smooth, rich flavor to the broth.

Ingredients

Topping:
1 large boneless chicken breast or thigh, about 1 lb
8 pieces of shucked oysters or shrimp
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered

Spice Paste:
10 dried chilies or about 5 fresh red jalapenos
10 shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 lemongrass
2 tablespoon roasted belachan (substitute 2 tablespoon fish sauce)
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1 inch of galangal
1 tablespoon dried tumeric powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup of canola oil for frying

Broth:
2 cups coconut milk, reserve ½ cup of cream
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of water
Salt to taste (at least a few pinchfuls of salt)
12 fried tofu puffs

6 oz egg noodles
6 oz rice vermicelli

Vegetables:
1 cup mung bean sprouts
Cilantro

Preparing the meat:
1.    Steam chicken breast until cooked, about 20 minutes. Tear or cut into ½ inch thick slices
2.    Drain the oysters, keep refrigerated.  If using shrimp, blanch shrimp.
Preparing the spice paste:
3.    Grind together spice paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Set aside.
Preparing the laksa soup base:
4.    Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat until just hot.  Stir in spice paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until the red oil separates from the spice paste about 8 to 10 minutes.
5.    Lower the heat, slowly add coconut milk, tofu balls, chicken stock and bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly.  Simmer for at 20-30 minutes.  Salt to taste.
Preparing the noodles:
6.    Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add salt and oil.  Blanch rice vermicelli till tender.
7.    Using the same water, blanch egg noodles.  Reserve.
Assembly:
8.    Place a serving of noodles and rice vermicelli, vegetables, chicken, and oysters in bowls and ladle laksa broth over.  Drizzle a teaspoon of coconut cream.  Garnish with cilantro.
9.    Serve with quartered limes and sambal.

Serves: 4

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