Saturday, January 30, 2010

Laksa Chook Stirfry

When I first came to Adelaide, Wyld Man educated me on some Aussie slang. A barbeque is a barbie, kangaroo is shortened to roo, afternoon gets referred to as arvo,  a biscuit is a bickie, MacDonald's is makkas and a chook is a chicken.  Other interesting slang I picked up are such as a pom or a pommie, which is a reference to a British person; being peckish means being hungry; football is footy-but means Australian Rules  football, not football as Malaysians know it, which is known to Aussies as soccer; and an ocker or yobbo is a somewhat uncultured Aussie male.

Wyld Man sometimes laughs at my take on Aussie slang, which still sounds like a Malaysian trying to talk Aussie, but I've starting calling chickens chooks. So this dish is a Laksa Chook Stirfry which I knocked up last night on the fly. It's a simple dish, with ingredients which can be sustituted quite easily with pretty much anything. I used laksa paste from a jar-it's so easy and tastes just yummy.

Before I proceed however, I should say that there are many types of Malaysian laksas as there are states in Malaysia. There's Sarawak Laksa, Johor Laksa, Penang Laksa, laksas with curry, laksas with coconut milk and without, laksas with speghetti noodles instead of the usual laksa noodles, assam laksas, and Singapore laksas. I love all kinds of laksas, loving each one I tried more than the last, although my favourite has to be Johor laksa and Penang Laksa, Johor laksa being a standalone unique dish made with fish mince sauce and speghetti and eaten dry instead of soupy. The laksas I encounter in Adelaide are more geared towards curry laksas or Singapore laksas. However, the jar of laksa that I had in my pantry was probably to make an assam laksa.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="The Ingredients"][/caption]

2 chook filets, carrots, curry leaves, celery, garlic shoots, laksa paste, constarch, oil, sugar, salt and pepper.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Thai Tonight Laksa Paste"][/caption]

This is the brand I had in my pantry-and these were the instructions on the jar...

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Instructions for laksa soup recipe"][/caption]

I wasn't in the mood for soup or noodles. So out went the instructions!

Any laksa paste should do.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="First, cut the garlic shoots in 1 inch lengths"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Peel the carrots and slice thinly"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Wash and cut the celery"][/caption]

I like my celery cubed. So chop off the ends.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Cut the stems at where they divide and look out for dirt."][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Cut each stem lengthwise twice."][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Slice up the stems"][/caption]

Now cube the chook.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Cut the breast filets lengthwise about 1 cm wide"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Turn the lengthwise slices 90 degrees and slice in 1cm widths to make cubes."][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Heat oil in the pan on high."][/caption]

While it is heating up...

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Coat the chook with 2 heaping tablespoons cornflour"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Season with salt and pepper"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Stir the mixture and coat the chook evenly"][/caption]

This removes any excess moisture from the chook, reducing splatter when you put it into hot oil, and also makes them brown nicely. The cornflour also helps thicken the sauce.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Put the chook into the hot oil and break it up so that all the chook gets contact with the bottom of the pan."][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="When the chook has lightly browned, push to one side of the pan"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Add 2 heaping tablespoons of laksa paste"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Add the curry leaves"][/caption]

Stir and coat the chook thoroughly with the paste.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Add the garlic shoots"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Add the carrots"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Add the celery"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Add a cup of water and cover"][/caption]

Bring to a boil, and lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or till the carrots are soft.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Sprinkle in a tablespoon of sugar. I use brown."][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="And it's ready!"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="639" caption="Serve hot with rice"][/caption]

Makes 8-10 servings.

Laksa Chook Stirfry


2 Chicken Breast Filets-cubed

1 bunch of garlic shoots-cut into 1 inch lengths

5 celery stalks-diced

2 medium carrots-sliced

2 heaping tablespoons Laksa paste

1 cup of water

2 tablespooons cornstarch






Mix chicken cubes with cornstarch, salt and pepper.

Heat oil, add the chicken and brown. Push to one side, add laksa paste and curry leaves.

Coat chicken with the paste. Add carrots, celery and garlic shoots. Stir.

Add a cup of water and bring to boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes till carrots are soft.

Add a spoonful of sugar.

Serve hot.

Makes 8-10 servings.

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