For an extensive history on Malaysia and how its food became so diverse head on over to THIS WEBSITE
But the main for me was my grand affair - the meal I had to create that could show all my extremely judgemental school friends that I could cook and deserve the right to hassle them constantly to read more of my websites - including Sydney Table. So today is Sydney Table's Malaysian Day - Amy has given us a superb restaurant to visit that I most definitely will - I do believe the small restaurants can produce the best meals - less pretension and more food cooking - YUMMY. And I am giving you Malaysian Seafood Stew - this takes between an hour or two to prepare and about half an hour to cook - it is authentic and the best part is the freshness mixed with your own made paste - hope you enjoy - do yourself the favour and spend a day making this divine meal. If you are a coriander you can also throw in a bunch of coriander - all finely chopped - for me it would have ruined everything
This serves between 6 & 10 people depending on the size of your servings - it would be ideal with the Halloumi as an entree above and while Helen's Grape and Chardonnay was immensely loved I would next time like to serve a lemon myrtle or green tea ice cream as the dessert.
YOU WILL NEED:
* 4 medium to hot fresh red chillies, seeded
* 8 garlic cloves
* 2tsp paprika
* 4tsp shrimp paste - preferably fermented but not absolutely necessary
* 3Tbsp chopped fresh root ginger
* 500gms small shallots - red is preferable but I could not find them so used the standard
* 6Tbsp peanut oil
* 2tsp crushed fennel seeds
* 4 fennel bulbs cut into thin wedges
* 1.5 litres of fish stock - (I just bought the Campbell's giant popper sized ones)
* 500gms of thin vermicelli rice noodles
* 900mls coconut milk (I bought lite)
* juice of 3 limes
* 80mls of Thai fish sauce
* 900gms of white fish fillets, monkfish, halibut, snapper or similiar - cut into think chunks
* 900gms of large raw prawns (then shelled and deveined)
* a bunch of fresh basil
* 4 spring onions thinly sliced
It is very easy to prep nearly everything during the morning or day and then it makes it much easier to cook at night. Prep your paste and your seafood so all ready to cook - the rest should be simple.
YOU WILL NEED TO:
1) Process the chillies, garlic, paprika, shrimp paste, ginger, and four shallots to a paste in a food processor, blender or spice grinder - I used a Bar Mix Add 2tsp of the peanut oil to the paste and process again until fairly smooth.
2) Heat the remaining oil in a large pan. Add the remaining shallots, the fennel seeds and the fennel wedges. Cook until lightly browned, then add 6Tbsp of the paste and stir fry for about 2mins.
3) Pour in the fish stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 9mins.
4) While this is happening prepare the vermicelli noodles by the instructions on the side of the pack - mine stated to place the noodles in cold or warm water for 2mins and then to drain, set aside.
5) Pour the coconut milk in to the pan of shallots, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, then add the juice of 2 limes, with 4 Tbsp of fish sauce (you may want to block your nose ) Stir thoroughly to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste, adding more curry paste, lime juice or fish sauce as you think necessary - I did not add any more to mine.
6) Place the fish in the pan and cook for about 4mins, then add the prawns and cook until they turn pink. Chop up most of the basil and add to the pan.
7) Divide the noodles evenly among the plates and then ladle over the stew. Sprinkle with the spring onions and remaining basil leaves and get ready for plenty of compliments
I recommend a nice sweet red wine with this and a great bunch of friends.