Sunday, 18 May 2008
Oh god I miss laksa! It baffles me that the heaven that is a bowl of laksa (or pho, or the other Asian meal-in-a-bowl soups for that matter) hasn't taken off in London. Or should I say London hasn't taken to them with the exception of the mediocre, underseasoned and overpriced Wagamama. Every lunchtime in Sydney men in suits pile into unprepossessing holes in the wall, tuck their ties in their top pocket and dive into a vast bowl of spicy broth, noodles, bean shoots and other good things. It is satisfying, doesn't have to be unhealthy (although the coconut milk in the laksa makes it pretty fatty), quick and cheap.
Fortunately for me (because I am too lazy to make it from scratch) on a trip to Wing Yip last year they were handing out tastes of an instant laksa kit, which actually tasted pretty good. So now we can have a laksa on the table inside 10 minutes.
This one was even more of a cheat than usual. I fried off the laksa paste, added some water, the coconut mix and brought it to a simmer. Then I added cubes of fried tofu (they keep pretty well in the freezer between trips to Wing Yip), the prawns and vegetables (asparagus and bok choy) from an M&S hot and sour prawn meal and the chilli sambal from the kit. As soon as it came back to the boil and the prawns turned pink it was into a couple of bowls, sprinkled with laksa leaves (from the kit) and deep fried shallots (which we always have in the cupboard). And it was delicious. Not as good as a proper one, but a very good meal on a chilly wet Friday night.