today laksa paste
chicken and creamed coconut
dancing with noodles
I was fooled by the BBC’s report this morning of the discovery of a new species of flying penguin. In my own defence, I had only just got up and caught a snippet of the news while I stumbled blearily between the bathroom and the kitchen, glimpsing a sequence of penguins happily flapping across an ice-floe. By the time I got back with restorative coffee, the news had moved on to the regular menu of politicians, murder and international mayhem. It was only later I got a text from the Ugly One telling me that that the penguins had been an April Fool’s joke. Seeing the full sequence later I was very glad I had not mentioned it at work, since the flying penguins allegedly migrate to the Amazon rain forest during the winter months.
I was in the Chinese supermarket in Brixton when I got the text, holding three spears of lemon grass in my right hand. This may seem like irrelevant detail and indeed it is, but it leads me neatly on to my latest obsession, which seems to be obscure and exotic Eastern dishes.
I made Laksa paste last night, which involved blending a paste from onions, garlic, ginger, galangal, shrimp paste, lemon grass and a selection of spices. One fries the resulting paste, adds some water, some creamed coconut, some diced chicken and some roasted peppers and stir until the chicken is cooked. Then a dash of fish sauce, and the result is somewhat fantastic, even though I say so myself.