Monday, August 1, 2011

Around the World in 80 Dates: Malaysia

A few weeks ago Alex and I decided we were due for a fun day in the city (aka Manhattan). We so rarely venture out of Brooklyn on the weekend, but Alex was between classes, and I was magically caught up on photo editing, so we had some amazing free time to take advantage of.

Since we don't have AC in our apartment, summers in NYC can be brutal, thus, we decided the perfect outing for a hot summer day would be the cool confines of one of the fabulous museums Manhattan has to offer. Alex and I usually are not very good museum buddies, as he tends to want to look at EVERYTHING and I usually just glance, but I actually had been wanting to see the natural history museum, since I've never been, so we decided to give it a shot. On the way there, we figured we might as well knock off another country on our list.

The Upper West Side has pretty slim pickings for affordable and meeting our 80 dates criteria, but we eventually found a winner in Penang, a Malaysian place. Since we were there for lunch on a Sunday, it was pretty empty, but the food was super tasty. I had a mango chicken and Alex had the Mee Curry, a traditional curry soup.

The Petronas Towers in KL.

Though Alex and I both ended up in Malaysia for a few days during our honeymoon in 2008, we never had this curry while we were there. I mainly remember being fascinated that everything there was flavored with CORN! Corn in a cup was everywhere, even corn flavored ice cream! Though we only spent a time in the capital of Kuala Lumpur on our visit, I would LOVE to go back and explore the rest of the country side.

The Brooklyn Version!

I googled around for lots of recipes for Mee Curry, but as with the past South African Curry, they called for lots of crazy ingredients... I don't normally stock cubed pig's blood in my cupboards. Apologies. So, I just went for it!

I'm becoming more confident in my ability to make due with what I've got and craft something pretty tasty. This wasn't an exact match to the restaurant, but pretty close! And if all else fails, it was easy and quite delicious!

Mee Curry with Chicken and Vegetables

For the curry paste:
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
3-4 garlic cloves
1 shallot
1/4 - 1/2 jalepeno, seeded
5-8 shishito peppers (These are fun peppers that are sold at our local farmers market)
2 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS fish sauce
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2-3/4 tsp curry powder

For the soup:
half bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 zuchinni, thinly sliced
handful shisito peppers, diced
1/2 package udon noodles
chicken stock, about 2-3 cups
1.5 cups shredded chicken (we had leftovers from a whole roasted chicken, so this worked great!)
1 can coconut milk
salt to taste
bit of oil
1 tsp red curry paste
juice of half a lime

Add all the ingredients for the paste into a food processor and spin until smoothly blended. Add to a large stock pot or wok with a bit of oil. Sautee over high heat a minute or two until sizzling. Add in the curry paste and stir and cook another minute or so. Add in the chicken and vegetables and blend together. Squeeze in the lime juice. Add the can of coconut milk and chicken stock to your desired consistency. Stir and let simmer covered.

While the soup is simmering, drop your udon noodles in boiling water for about 3 minutes until softened. Once the noodles have softened, drain the water and add them to the soup. Let simmer about 5 more minutes. Serve topped with a handful of chopped cilantro.



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