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In Indonesia, laksa is one of the traditional comfort foods; the spicy warm noodle soup is much appreciated during cold rainy days.However, its popularity is somewhat overshadowed by soto, a similar hearty warm soup dish, which is often consumed with rice instead of noodles.My 1/4 cup suggestion is less than what I used, and probably wiser.

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There are three basic types of laksa: curry laksa, asam laksa and other variant that can be identified as either curry or asam laksa.Curry laksa is a coconut milk curry soup with noodles, while asam laksa is a sour, most often tamarind-based, soup with noodles.I'm pretty sure Sarawak laksa doesn't use the round rice noodles, which are next to impossible to find in NYC anyway)3 1/2 oz.chicken (half a medium breast) poached and shredded5 large prawns cooked and shelled (I used half a pound of smaller prawns because I needed to use them up.I have a high heat tolerance and it still burnt the taste out of my tongue (I just ate some with chicken and rice for lunch and my mouth is now numb).

I was trying to measure the dried chiles with a food scale, using the metrics from the original recipe, but I don't think the calibration is sensitive enough–no matter how many chiles I piled on, the needle barely budged.

Nevertheless, numbers of laksa recipes has been developed along the trade channels of Southeast Asia—where the ports of Penang, Medan, Malacca, Singapore, Palembang and Batavia (now Jakarta) are the major stops along the historic spice route.

The intensive trade links among these port cities enables exchanges of ideas to took place, including sharing recipes.

Consider this an American adaptation, heavier on the protein) 5 tablespoons oil (the original calls for 6-8 tablespoons, but that felt excessive—hopefully, I didn’t ruin the flavor)3 ½ tablespoons chile paste (I used sambal oelek)1 tablespoon tamarind paste mixed with 3 tablespoons water Pound garlic, shallots, onion, dried chiles and dried shrimp into a paste using a mortar and pestle. I usually go for the mortar and pestle (it's easier to clean, and of course more traditional) but I don't have the patience to break down the dried chiles properly. As I've never had Sarawak style laksa before, it's hard to gauge how close my version comes to the original.

I was lucky enough to be given a package of Double Red Swallow Sarawak laksa paste as a gift when in Kuala Lumpur. It's hard to find even in Malaysia, never mind the U. I do think I my sambal turned out hotter than what I'd tasted in Malaysia.

This creates the hybrid Chinese-local (Malay or Javanese) culture called Peranakan culture.