Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cheats Asam Laksa

On the rare occasion that I return to Malaysia for a holiday (sorry Grandma!), it always amuses me when the locals ask how much things cost in Australia compared to Malaysia. With a foreign exchange rate of around A$1 = MYR3.3, a bowl of laksa, at the minimum is around MYR40! For MYR40 you could have a hawker feast at pasar malam which is a million times better than an Aussie style laksa! An "Aussie laksa" is pretty much noodles (of various kinds) in a curry soup (spices used are questionable but the soup is red and appears to be chili based) with ingredients like barbecued pork, snow peas, broccoli and eggplant...yep, not exactly authentic but you take what you can get!

Since I have spent most of my life in Melbourne (80% to be exact), this is how we make asam laksa (tamarind based) at home. Below is mint, red chili, julienned cucumber and sliced red onions. We didn't have any galangal left, but if we did, we would have taken it out of the freezer and sliced it thinly.

To prepare the laksa soup, buy either frozen laksa paste (pictured below) or packet paste which can be purchased from Asian grocers. We usually make the soup with canned sardines in tomato sauce (it's convenient, you can't taste the tomato and won't choke on any stray bones) but we used boiled fish this time which need to been defrosted, deboned and flaked. Place fish in the soup.

Although fresh laksa noodles are available, we usually buy dehydrated rice noodles which need to be boiled. Place the noodles into a bowl with the mint, chili, cucumber and onions and ladle the soup into the bowl.

Aunty Jenny once commented that I don't cook anything Asian, so here you go - a relatively quick way to prepare Aussie style laksa at home!

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