Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Continuing with my series of quasi Southeast Asian recipes using everyday household ingredients, here is my recipe for a simple laksa, made with regular Top Ramen and spices.
I've started eating lots of Top Ramen since I started living alone a few months ago, which is like returning to college without being poor. I have a bunch of ramen recipes, and most of them involve throwing away the flavor packet unopened so it doesn't matter what kind of ramen. I like to make it with one package each of shrimp and chicken with a little pinch of each flavor packet.
Traditional laksa is prepared by cooking noodles in a rich coconut-curry gravy and adding either shrimp or chicken, bean sprouts, shredded carrot, and fresh herbs (mint or basil). Even the simple version is best with fresh herbs and veggies as condiments.
I make it by making the noodles first, then draining them and stir-frying a spoonful of Thai curry paste (yellow, green, or red) in the pan, adding one can of low-fat coconut milk to make a gravy-stock, then adding the noodles and condiments. It's really good with pre-cooked shrimp, or leftover chicken, or whatever is on hand.
The core ingredients are..
-Two packages ramen (any brand or flavor)
-Thai curry paste (any color you like)
-One can of coconut milk
-Any fish or meat or vegetables on hand.
I have another recipe for a ramen char kway teow, using ramen to prepare a variation on what they call "Singapore Chow Fun" in U.S. Chinese restaurants. It has most of the same ingredients (except the coconut milk) and everything is stir-fried. It's a great way to get rid of any kind of leftovers!