Malaysia and its islands are cocooned by seas whose names reveal a great diversity of cultural influences — the Indian Ocean, the Java Sea, the Andaman Sea, the South China Sea. The Malay cuisine speaks directly of these influences, and Singapore (established by the British in the nineteenth century) is probably the hottest part of the Malaysian melting pot.
To start with, lightly fry the sliced shallots in
Put the laksa paste into a pan with
While you are waiting, thinly slice the chicken. When the liquid in the pan has reached the boil, add the chicken, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until the meat has cooked through.
Add the lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, broccoli, pak choi, coriander leaves and a generous grind of pepper. Give it all a stir and leave to simmer for 3—4 minutes, until the greens are cooked to perfection — they should still have
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Put the noodles into a bowl and pour some of the boiling water over them, enough to cover. Leave for about 3 minutes, then drain. Put the pan back on the heat, bring back to the boil, and add the beansprouts. Drain, then refresh in cold water. Place a pile of noodles in each bowl, and divide the beansprouts and spring onions between the portions. Ladle the liquid and chicken over the top. Finish with a generous sprinkling of the fried shallots and a drizzle of chilli sauce.
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