Ok - I've been talking about making this soup forever, and yesterday, it FINALLY happened. As you know, I"m in love with Anthony Bourdain (if I was American, I would vote for him as the next presidential candidate) and on an old episode of No Reservations he goes to Malaysia and has this soup for breakfast. Laksa - what can I say about Laksa? It's a soup that combines all the wonderful flavours you love about Asian food - Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures and histories and the food there apparently has a similar blend of tastes from throughout the region. Laksa is like Thai soup meets curry and then they had a baby and moved to China. It's amazing and my hope for my life is that I one day get to eat the authentic version. Ottawa unfortunately is lacking in the Malaysian restaurant department, so I've had to reconcile with my own meagre abilities to put a concoction together. As it turns out, it's not that hard - once you've got a few of the vital ingredients (like Laksa paste… kinda integral to the whole thing) which you can get at an Asian supermarket.
So full disclosure. I've made two separate trips to the T&T Supermarket to find Laksa paste. It's apparently not shameful what-so-ever to use commercial Laksa paste (which is a combination of chills, garlic and spices) when you're making Laksa. In fact all the recipes I read called for the commercial version of the paste. Anyway, I was a bit overwhelmed with all the different paste varieties at the T&T and the first time I went I left empty handed. When I went back the second time I was much more determined and I found it in the "South East Asia" section. Not to be overlooked when starring at the "regular" asian section. (I mean it's an asian supermarket so it wouldn't be hard to do so).