Written By Guest Writer Recipes / Soup Mar 9, 2012 Foo’s Patrick Lynch: The Secrets of Laksa SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestLaksa as prepared at Foo Asian Street Food. Photos by Deanna LadretChef Patrick Lynch shows us his finished Laksa. Recipe belowEver wondered how to cook up a noodle bowl you thought you could only get at a restaurant? Or maybe you have made a few noodle dishes before, but aren’t sure if you can deviate from the recipe and have it still taste authentic. Look no further: chef and co-owner Patrick Lynch of Foo Asian Street Food has opened up his kitchen and shared the secrets of Laksa. This popular noodle soup in Malaysia and Singapore is one of Foo’s signature menu items, now about to become your newest go-to weeknight dish. This sweet and savoury soup is packed with exciting flavours, adaptable to seasonally available produce (with a few exotic exceptions), and can be made any time of year at a relatively low cost. Complex as it tastes, Laksa is the Malay equivalent to our chicken noodle soup––the kind of trick every home cook should have up their sleeve, made all the more impressive by its stylish appearance and decidedly non-American aroma. Laksa is also a great way to use leftover veggies such as squash, broccoli, etc., which tend to languish in various quantities in the crisper. Finally, a use for that other half of the Savoy cabbage that doesn’t involve the word slaw! Soup base raw ingredientsWhen making Laksa, keep the basic rudiments in mind when cooking the base (the ‘backbone’ of the dish), but get a little creative and improvise with the vegetable and protein combinations, depending on what’s available in markets or in your fridge. You can view the following as a guideline or framework, rather than a hard-and-fast recipe. Once you’ve got the knack of making the broth, you can try hundreds of variations with vegetables, fish and starch – who says it can’t be served on rice? You Need: Rice Noodles (portioned for 3-4 people), soaked in cold water for at least 1-2 hours beforehand. You can also do this days in advance and refrigerate should a Laksa mood strike later in the week. Laksa ‘Broth’ 2 T neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed2 or 3 cans of full-fat coconut milk (depending on how soupy you want it), Lynch uses Aroy-D brand4 stalks of lemongrass, mainly the bases, bruised or scored with a knifehandful of kefir lime leaves (fresh frozen is best), roughly chopped1 T size chunk of galangal (a tuberous looking thing similar in appearance to ginger, which can be bought frozen in Chinatown), roughly chopped1 T size chunk of ginger, peeled and chopped1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped2 cloves of garlic, sliced2 T MDH brand Meat Masala (available at The Indian Food Market)1 t turmeric1/2 puck of palm sugar, or 1-2 T brown sugarGreen chile pepper or Sambal Oelek Fish Sauce, can be substituted with vegetarian fish sauce or soy sauce for a slightly different flavour1 lime Prepped ingredientsVegetable IdeasFor best results, blanch, steam, or lightly roast beforehand. Try the following:1/2 cup Kabocha or Butternut squash, cubed1/2 cup Savoy cabbage, chopped1/2 cup broccoli1/4 cup peas, shelleda few slices of roasted bell peppers1/2 cup Sui Choy, Bok Choy, or Shanghai Bok Choy, roughly choppedAny combination of green onions, cilantro, Thai basil, in a quantity that suits your taste Fresh lime & bean sprouts for finishing Chef Patrick Lynch sautéing Laksa base ingredientsProtein Ideas White fish, tuna, prawns, shelled mussels or clams, chicken breast, regular or puffed tofu. Cut up fish, chicken or tofu into small pieces. Heat oil in a pot over medium high, until it “shines” (whenever you sense that what’s put in the pan will sizzle upon contact). Add ginger, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, kefir lime leaves, and onion to the pan. Sauté for a minute or two until the onions become translucent. Add the turmeric and masala. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring to ensure everything is coated in the spice mix. Pour in the coconut milk, then the sugar. If you like heat, you can dice up a green chili or add some Sambal Oelek at this point as well. Bring the contents to a boil, then allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes to release the flavours. Steam or blanch the veggies now if you haven’t done them ahead of time; set aside to cool. Straining the soup base after simmeringAfter the broth has simmered, remove from heat and strain through a sieve into a bowl, discard the cooked-down leftovers. Return the liquid to the pot, place back on the burner over medium and zest the skin of 1/2 lime into the broth. Stir and taste––add more if you want. Squeeze half the lime’s juice into the pot, saving the other half to slice up for serving. Add some fish sauce to taste, Lynch used a few liberal squirts which he estimated to be about 1 Tablespoon or so. Aim for an appropriate balance of Hot-Salty-Sweet-Sour. Add the vegetables. Since they’re already half-done from the steaming, they’ll just need a few minutes to simmer. Add fish/chicken/tofu, stirring a few minutes until cooked through. Adding pre-soaked noodles and fresh herbsAdd drained rice noodles to the pot, clumped on top of the ‘stew’. Sprinkle the fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, etc) over the surface, then cover the pot for one or two minutes, allowing the noodles to steam down and soften. Gently stir everything together, then spoon into bowls. Finish with bean sprouts, another handful of fresh herbs, and a wedge of lime. Enjoy! Foo Asian Street Food769 Yates St.(250) 383-3111www.foofood.ca@FOOasFOOD ChineseEdiblesFolksMalayRecipes SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Guest Writer We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. This is the Guest ... Read More You may also like Bar / Recipes February 27, 2020 Kuma Bitters For those who can’t be bothered to finesse and monitor the blending process of the three-jar method written about in March| April’s Bar 101, here ... 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