A last-minute decision to go and find some sun, this time last week we were starting our final evening on the stunning island of Mallorca (Majorca). I have never booked a holiday two days before departure but needs must, and what a fantastic time we had.
On the day before we departed from home, a package arrived from those lovely people at Steenbergs, upon opening up the cardboard box it was an opportunity to be part of their taste panel.
Two different Tea samples, a mix for Nasi Goreng and a bottle of Lemon Oil, Organic of course and all were nestling in the vibrant orange paper, with feedback cards to let them know how each product tasted.
Unfortunately testing was going to be delayed as the plane was awaiting, but the next post will be my attempt at Nasi Goreng, with maybe a few twists along the way. I am working on some ideas on how to use some of the Lemon Oil, watch this space.
This particular dish, Prawn Laksa is derived from one by Ching He Huang, the recipe on the BBC website does have a couple of mistakes in it, namely it lists both Water and Chicken Stock in the ingredients but says to use water. I opted to forget the water and use some of the home-made Chicken Stock I prepared recently for an Indian inspired dish. Having checked on Chings’ website under the ‘free member’ section, the recipe is subtly different, but does not mention the water!
Quickly back to Mallorca, we stayed in a delightful hotel in Alcudia, north of the island. It was an all-inclusive style and I have to say the food was some of the best I have had. There was a WHOLE Suckling Pig one evening, I did not have my camera to capture the evidence but it went down a treat.
Anyhow, back to the Laksa, which takes a few stages to complete the 1st being the spice paste.
Take a couple of small Onions, 3 Cloves of Garlic, 2 Lemons Grass stalks (the proper fresh ones from Chinese supermarkets), 1 piece of fresh Turmeric (if you can get it, it makes a difference), a couple of inches of Galangal, 1 tsp Coriander Powder and the same of Cumin, 1 tbls Shrimp Paste, a few Birds Eye Chilli’s (I used three), and whizz in a processor with 50 ml of Coconut Milk into a smooth paste.
The end result is in the white tin to the left of the picture above, in the smaller tin are 4 King Prawns, marinading in a couple of spoon full’s of the mixture, which are then coated in CornFlour and fried until crispy for a tasty, crispy garnish.
The Laksa paste needs frying in a little oil, it will start to darken slightly, I cooked mine for about 5-6 minutes to release the flavours, cook out the spices and evaporate some of the water. It smelt amazing.
After the mix is cooked out, add a few Kaffir Lime leaves, the remaining Coconut Milk (about 250 mls), and Chicken Stock about 1 pint, a couple of tbls of Fish sauce and 1 tbls Palm Sugar, simmer vigorously for about 20 – 25 minutes. I also added two more finely shredded Birds Eye Chilli’s after tasting, to increase the potency slightly!! I also added some grated Lime zest, about 1/2 a Limes worth.
You are looking for a consistency YOU are happy with, not too runny but not too thick as you will be adding more ingredients to finish the dish off at the end.
Whilst the broth is simmering you can prep the garnishes, pick some Coriander leaves, finely shred some Red Chilli (nice colour contrast) and slice some Spring Onion on the angle. You will also need some Lime Wedges which are used as a condiment. The Prawns, and Noodles (fresh please), only take two minutes or so to cook, the marinating prawns can be coated in Corn Flour and deep fried before draining on kitchen paper.
We are onto the final straight, add the Prawns, and cook your noodles according to the instructions, mine were fresh and just needed a kettle of boiling water to be poured over them, left for a minute or so and thoroughly drained, When the Prawns are cooked, add the noodles and stir through for 30 secs to 1 minute maximum to coat.
Serve how you wish, I used a simple bowl with the Laksa spooned in, and then added the Chilli, Spring Onion, Coriander and the Lime Wedge. The crispy Prawns were hung on the side, next time I cook this dish I will do a few more this way as they were stunningly delicious!!
Wowzer, ’nuff said it’s gorgeous, tasty, vibrant, spicy and downright amazeballs.
Even more important, the governor through the same, words like Wow, Mmmmmm (not a word I know but hey), it’s a blinding dish and well worth the effort.
The next post, hopefully very soon will be my interpretation of Nasi Goreng, I have had a few ideas buzzing in my head on how I might do things so…..
………………………..Until next time………………..l8ers