With a blink of an eye, a brand new decade has started. I certainly believe it is a year of new beginnings and changes. And I wonder what surprises 2010 has in store for us.
But here are a few things that I will be looking forward to.
- Our 10th year anniversary
- 2010 World Cup in South Africa
- Travel, travel, travel and hopefully a white Christmas
- More cooking, eating and fun times with both old and new friends
So what will you be looking forward to in 2010?
This weekend will be spent with our best friend that is like a brother to us, Raymon. He will be leaving Australia and heading to Shanghai for a fantastic opportunity. Since the weather has turned from super heatwave of 43C to a cool 22c. I took the opportunity to make chicken curry laksa. I adapted this recipe from the cookbook – Authetic Recipes from Singapore by David Wong and Djoko Wibisono.
The spice paste plays the most important part of the dish. Just tweak it accordingly to your taste. We love it super spicy and you may prefer it quite tame and sweet.
- 2tsp of curry powder
- 1tbsp of red chilli powder
- 1tbsp of coriander powder
- 4tbsp of dried shrimps (soak in water to soften it)
- 16 candlenuts or macadamia nuts (roughly chopped
- 4cm of fresh tumeric
- 8 hot chillies (de-seed or reduce number of chillies according to taste)
- 7cm of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 8 large shallots, roughly chopped
- 5 -8 cloves of garlic (depending how much you love garlic)
- 2 tbsp of dried shrimp paste or belacan
- 2tsp of salt
- 1 – 2 tbsp of sugar (optional) – Just taste and add more if you prefer a sweeter sauce
- 3 stalks of lemongrass, a third from the bottom. Bruise and chop roughly
- Peanut oil
- 6 cups of thin coconut milk or 2 cups of coconut cream mixed with 1L of water
- 4 cups of chicken stock ( I added some curry leaves when making the chicken stock)
- Chicken drumsticks or you can choose to use shredded chicken
- Tofu puffs
- Egg noodles or rice vermicelli (not too fussy about what kind of noodles you use. And I used 100g of noodles for each portion)
- Boiled chicken or quail eggs
- String beans or bean sprouts (or your choice of vegetable)
- Coriander leaves, finely shopped
- Crispy fried shallots (optional)
- Blend all the laksa paste ingredients except for salt and sugar. Add some peanut oil if necessary to keep the blades turning. Or you may choose to use the mortar and pestle. Taste and season the paste with salt and sugar after. Set aside
- Heat the oil in a wok or pot over low heat and stir-fry the spice paste for 5 mins or until fragrant. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock. Bring to oil and stir constantly.
- Reduce the heat and add the pre-cooked chicken, add the tofu puffs and string beans. Season accordingly with salt and white pepper. Simmer for about 5-8 mins
- Place pre-cooked noodles in a bowl, add the chicken curry soup, add bean sprouts of you are using any here. Garnish with eggs and coriander leaves. (Add the fried shallots here if you have any) Also optional, add some sambal chilli for more kick.
This serves 8 portions. I will usually make more spice paste and freeze it in ice cube trays for future use. If you are vegetarian, just add more tofu and vegetables. And you can always replace the chicken with seafood like prawns, fishcakes and even crabs. For extra flavour, use prawn stock instead of chicken stock.
It has come to a point that our friends are spread across the world and we hardly get to see each other. Despite of the distance, some of us do make a huge effort to stay in close contact with each other. But some of us have drifted apart. It feels as though it is time for us to prepare for our next big adventure before we become too complacent in a very comfortable environment.
What are you doing to achieve one of the many goals in 2010?