Recipes
Reliving Travels Through Food
September 9, 2013
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Curry, saffron, coconut, sugarcane… I close my eyes, I breathe deeply and it takes me right back somewhere in Singapore or Malaysia. I spent 10 days there last month with my sister and I’m missing it already.
We always hear about how clean and how green Singapore is (which I totally agree with, it was shocking-in a good way). But we rarely talk about the mix of ethnicity which is present in the whole city. Chinese, Malay and Indian are all  equally present there.
Despite the expensive cost-of-living, I was surprisingly happy to discover how cheap and delicious the food was, especially in the food court or street food. I always thought the best way to discover a new place is to start with local food and I was definitely spoiled with all the choices they offered. What more can a food lover like me ask for?
Everything was so delicious; I wanted to try all of them. It was a must for me to maximize each meal that I could get in a day.
It wasn’t easy for me to decide what to cook today; I wanted everything I had on that vacation. I ended up with the first meal I had when I arrived in Singapore and the last one when I left Malaysia. (The food in both countries are very similar, hence the reason I ate the same dish in both countries).
Laksa I
The famous Laksa! What is it? Simply, a popular spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan culture, a fusion of Chinese and Malay elements founds in Malaysia and Singapore. The perfect combination of a noodle dish in coconut milk and curry soup base.
Hope, you will enjoy it as much as I did.
Ingredients:
– 1 1/2 Tbsp dried shrimps
– 6 garlic cloves, chopped
– 2 shallots, chopped
– 5 cm piece ginger chopped
– 1/3 cup laksa paste
– 1/4 cup vegetable oil
– 6 cups of water (or chicken broth)
– 1 tsp honey
– 1 Tbsp fish sauce
– 1 lime juice
– 1 can of coconut milk (400 ml)
– 10 prawns, shells removed and reserved
– 10 fish balls
– 8 small fried tofu puffs, halved
– 200 gr dried rice vermicelli
– 200 gr fresh egg noodles
 Laksa III
Garnishes:
– 200g shredded poached chicken (poaching water can be used for the broth) or 5-6 prawns (both optional)
– bean sprout
– lime wedges
– finely sliced green onion
– finely sliced long red chili (optional)
Laksa II
Instructions:
1) Soak the dried shrimps in  ½ cup hot water until it softens then transfer the mixture to a blender. Add the garlic, shallots, ginger and process until well mixed.
2) Heat a heavy pan and add the blended paste to the oil and fry for 1 minute. Add the laksa paste and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for about 2 min until fragrant. Then add the broth and bring to the boil. Add the coconut milk and reduce heat. Add the fish balls and tofu. Season with fish sauce, honey and lime juice to taste.
In another large saucepan, boil some water. Cook the rice noodles and egg noodles, separately, as indicated in the package. Then rinse with cold water.
Add the shrimps to the soup, turn off the heat and allow to gently poach for 2–3 minutes until cooked through.
To serve, divide the noodles in 2 bowls. Cover it with broth and top with chicken, shrimps, fried tofu, fish balls, bean sprouts, spring onions, chili, green onion and lime wedges.