Malaysian GP - Laksa Curry

This year was the last F1 race in Malaysia at the Sepang International Circuit. A farewell of sorts as F1 has been racing in Malaysia for 19 years. I suppose the world keeps spinning and things change, but it will be sad to say goodbye to a great race, and that also made this my last chance to make some great food! 

Malaysian cuisine has made its way into the American lexicon a little more than I think I even realized. There is a Malaysian restaurant in my neighboring small town, Malaysian ingredients at my supermarket and even a BuzzFeed article: 22 Malaysian Foods Everyone Should Learn How To Cook. 

I say, more the better.
Malaysian food and Singaporean food have a lot of the same roots and Char Kway Teow and Popiah are both popular in Malaysia as well as Singapore, so this race may have similar vibes to the last one. And that, in my opinion, is a lovely thing. 

 

Laksa Curry 

Adapted from Taste.com.au

7 oz thin dried rice-stick noodles
6.5 oz Ayam Malaysian laksa paste (this will seem like A LOT, it is, and it is delicious)
1/2 small red onion, quartered, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken stock
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn (I have a hard time finding these, the dish is fine without them, if slightly less authentic)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie works great, blend of light and dark meat)
2-4 cups mushrooms
1 can coconut milk (14.5 oz)
1/2 cup beansprouts, trimmed
1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
1 Lebanese cucumber, halved crossways, cut into thin matchsticks
1/4 small pineapple, peeled, thinly sliced, cut into thin matchsticks
Fresh cilantro, to serve
Lime halves, to serve

1. Place noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let stand for 4 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Using a fork, separate noodles. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook laksa paste, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until softened. Stir in stock and 1 cup cold water. Add lime leaves. Cover. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Add chicken and mushrooms. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through and mushrooms just softened. Remove from heat. Remove and discard lime leaves (if using). Stir in coconut milk. Divide noodles between bowls. Ladle over stock mixture. Top with beansprouts, chili, cucumber, pineapple and coriander. Serve with lime halves.

Vegetarian option:

Swap chicken broth for veg broth and make sure the curry paste you find does not contain shrimp paste as many do. 

Swap chicken for fried tofu, broccoli, bell pepper or any other vegetable of choice. Add in at the same time as stock to cook for 10+ minutes in curry broth.

**The toppings are what makes this dish spectacular. Fresh pineapple is a must and fresh crunchy bean sprouts too! 

 

Fried Bananas

One of my best friends in college taught me a recipe which she readily admits may not strictly be traditional, but with the ingredients on hand brings all the goodness of the original dessert to the plate and the memories right along with it. 

Recipe:

12 wonton wrappers
3 bananas
6 tablespoons brown sugar
small bowl water
Oil for frying
 

1. Cut bananas into 4 pieces (once down the length and then in half to make 4 quarters). 

2. On a wonton wrapper lay banana piece and sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar on top. 

3. Enclose banana and sugar by folding wonton wrapper edges together to form a triangle or wrap like a spring roll. 

4. Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a frying pan. Once hot, add 3-4 wontons at a time and fry until golden brown on one side, flip and fry until done on second side (1-2 minutes each side). 

 

I realized in thinking about this that my friends in college taught me a number of recipes and shared a lot about their lives and in so doing, their cultures. I started thinking about some of those people and recipes, and came up with this very brief list of Friends/ Recipes that I never realized had stuck with me to this day. 

Azwa - Malaysian Fried Bananas
Sam - Sopaipilla
Carolyn - Spoon Bread
Mari - Spam Musubi
Hannah - How to put Sprinkles on EVERYTHING 

Thanks friends :)