Monday, March 22, 2010
Malaysian Seafood Laksa
GOT INTO JEFFERSON!!!! Looks like I'll be headed to Philly for the next four years of my life (for better or for worst). Good thing is I'll be within walking distance of the Liberty Bell, the original White House, Reading Terminal Market, and...CHINATOWN!! The people were really nice...the two adcom members Dr. Callahan and Brooks (the very same people who attend every interview day) personally call every admitted student to give them the news. Talk about personal. I think I may have given Dr. Callahan a headache. The conversation went something like...
Dr. Callahan: I just wanted to let you know that you've been accepted --
Me: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH OMGGGGGGGG AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH
DR. Callahan: -- to Jefferson Medical College...
Yeah...she probably went temporarily deaf for a second or two.
So after that, I pretty much couldn't focus on studying very much. I wasted an hour or two just running around, doing flips in the living room of our apartment, and making carpet angels. While my apartment-mates watched in bemusement.
Anyway...I'm home now in NorCal with my parents. I'm surprised at how healthy they've gotten. My father refuses to eat rice now for dinner and has oatmeal cereal every morning for breakfast. This is the guy who used to believe that people had to eat at least one serving of red meat everyday to stay healthy. And every afternoon we all hike up two giant hills that take 1-2 hours. Sometimes I even eat more than my dad o_O. Lol my mom still eats a lot though...she says she doesn't but every time I see her she's secretly slurping down last night's leftovers or cooking up another bowl of oatmeal on the kitchen counter.
But she's gone for China now, and I now officially have full reign of the kitchen (MUAHAHAA) at least until we join her in about 4 days.
So Day 1 was kind of a fail and a success...for one thing, my Penang seafood laksa came out great (though my dad, who was raised in Malaysia, claims that it wasn't nearly as spicy as the authentic ones - though that may have been a good thing). But when we tried making Vietnamese crepes...
Well...let's just say the crepes broke into eeny weeny undercooked pieces. I felt so bad because we actually put in shrimp and squid too. Ah Boy.
Then after our daily hike, I made tiramisu in tiny cups. They should be ready by tomorrow...
Malaysian Seafood Laksa
Spices: 4 shallots, thinly sliced
4 tbsp chili paste (I used the last of my Nam Prik Pao)*
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp lemongrass, minced
1/2 tbsp shrimp paste (the one that stinks and sends non-Asians running)
500g prawns with head and shell intact
2 cups water
Squid tentacles (add however much you like)
Fish balls, tempura pieces, whatever you like
Fried beancurd (You doufu), cut into little cubes
2 cups beansprouts
1/2 cup coconut milk (or more if you like...I'm not a big fan of coconut myself)
1 cup chicken broth
1.5 tbsp rock sugar
Salt to taste
Napa cabbage, shredded (~3 cups)
3 green onions, chopped
3 eggs, fried and cut into strips
500g fresh rice noodles**
1. In the 2 cups water, boil the shrimp heads. You'll be making a shrimp stock with this using the red fat in the heads (yea I know, it's probably high in cholesterol, but what the heck). When it comes a boil, remove heads and scum.
2. Over high heat, saute the spices in a big soup pot until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
3. Add salt, rock sugar, and half of the coconut milk.
4. When the rock sugar dissolves, add the shrimp stock and fish balls/tempura/etc.
5. Boil for about 3-5 minutes, then add chicken broth.
6. When it boils, add shrimp, squid, and Napa cabbage (add the bottom parts before the leafy)
7. Boil until shrimp turn pink, then stir in bean sprouts and green onions.
8. In separate bowls, distribute the rice stick noodles by however big of a serving you want.
9. Ladle soup over the noodles and garnish with egg strips.
* I used 4 tbsp chili paste, but like my dad said, the laksa was nowhere near as spicy as it's supposed to be. You can always add more on the side when you serve it.
**We used fresh noodles which are made everyday at the local market, but you can always use dried ones as well. Just follow the cooking instructions on the back.