Laksa, how I love thee
We are currently living in Sydney, Australia and I have discovered something that reminds me of my mama's coconut crab soup in all its humbly delicious glory. It is called "laksa" and I've been told that it is Malaysian in origin, though the melding of food styles in Southeast Asia allow for lots of flavor crossovers. When we return to San Diego, I am going to try to ferret this bowl of coconut goodness out. You will love it if you love spicy food!
It is made with coconut milk, tumeric, tamarind, lemongrass, garlic, hot peppers, galangal (which is a rhizome like ginger), and other stuff that is delicious! Coupled with this savory broth are rice noodles, tofu, bean sprouts, and fish (prawn, fishcake, some shredded fish). You garnish this loveliness with ground shrimp paste/chilis and then dive headlong into it. OMF it is FANTASTIC! It is a shame that Malay food is not more prevalent in California...or maybe it's MY shame that I'm not looking hard enough. If anyone has suggestions on places to eat Malay food in San Diego (or Southern Cal to widen the net), then please post. Alternatively, I wouldn't mind something home-cooked - I'll bring the libations, my appetite, and my gratitude :)!
Here's a link to another blogger with what could possibly be an authentic recipe...I'm not vouching for it, but I'm going to ask the cooks at my local joints about the ingredients: