Sunday, February 17, 2008

Laksa Version 2.0

As of late, I've been on a noodle soup kick. I love the stuff. Some of you might remember the recent Laksa (Malaysian noodle soup) post but I decided to follow another recipe in order to taste a different version. From a technical perspective, both recipes are fairly similar. Grind/mince fresh/dried seasonings and make a seasoning paste. Brown paste in oil and add liquid and coconut milk. Add proteins of your choice and serve over noodles. I really like recipes like this because once you get a handle on the technique, you can modify the recipe to your heart's content. Good stuff.

This recipe is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's Step-By-Step Cooking. Although I like it for my purposes, I don't know if I can recommend it to others. If you are thinking about buying it, go and check it out at a local bookstore. It's got a rather eclectic collection of recipes so it won't ever become a reference cookbook but will remain something that you flip through looking for recipes...FYI, I'm TOTALLY not disparaging the book because it's a flipper...I'm just giving you my two cents.

All of the stuff:
Rough chop one stalk of lemongrass and place into a food processor:
Rough chop an onion, put into a food processor:
Rough chop a 2 inch piece of galangal and place into a food processor:
Rough chop 4 cloves of garlic and place into a food processor:
Core, deseed and rough chop a red bell pepper and put into a food processor:
Spices: Put into the food processor:
Rough chop a piece of ginger similar in size to the galangal, place into the food procesor.

Blend (add water if necessary) what's in the food processor and you should get something like this:
Heat up oil in your soup pot. Add the paste and cook until it's a bit brown and has lost some of its liquid. Pour in 5 cups of chicken or veggie broth and simmer for 20 minutes. At this point, you'll need to strain out the spice paste. Here was my contraption:
Here's why you need to're left with junk like this:
Finished product:Take the strained broth and place it back into the soup pot. Add 4 sliced boneless skinless chicken thighs and bring to a boil. Drop heat to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. Rinse and drain half of a package of tofu. Cube the tofu and add to the soup.

Cook for another ten minutes. You should have something like this:
Add 1.5 cups of coconut milk. Simmer for another 5 minutes and then it's done.

To assemble:
Bean sprouts:
Pour on broth and garnish...fried shallots:
Add cilantro and lime and you're done!

Time-About an hour...Only 20 minutes or so of actual active work.

Food cost-
Chicken- About $3.00
Tofu- $0.50
Coconut Milk- $0.70
Chicken Broth- $2.10
Incidentals- $1.00
Total- $7.30...makes about 4 servings...$1.82 per bowl.

Here's the link to the picture-less version of the recipe.

And, since I love LOLCats, here's a favorite:

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