Ipoh Curry Noodle Sauce
This is another famous dish from Ipoh. It’s like noodle mania in this central Malaysian city, with the burgeoning and innovative food scene. There are all sorts of different styles of noodle dishes, but this is my take on an ipoh curry noodle soup. Just like Malaysian cuisine as a whole, it’s a wonderful concoction of different styles, ingredients and flavours, from spicy curry to mild soy sauces. It’s Malaysia in a bowl.
- 400g boneless chicken thigh pieces
- 25g dried anchovies (optional)
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 5cm cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 4 cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 500g egg noodles
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 springs of curry leaves, leaves picked (or 3 bay leaves)
- 200ml coconut milk
- 8 pieces of ready-made fried spongy tofu, each cut into 4
- 100g beansprouts
For the paste
- 3 shallots
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 5cm fresh turmeric (or 2 teaspoons ground turmeric)
- 2.5cm fresh ginger
- 2.5cm fresh galangal (or extra ginger)
- 2 stalks of lemongrass
- 4 macadamia nuts
- 6 dried chilles, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
- ½ teaspoon shrimp paste, dry-toasted (or 1 tablespoon fish sauce)
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel
For the garnish
- 1 red chilli, cut into 0.5cm slices
- 3 tablespoons ready-made fried shallots
- 4 sprigs of mint, leaves picked
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
Puree all the paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Put a large deep saucepan on a medium heat and add 1.75 litres of water. Add the chicken, anchovies, salt, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom pods and cloves and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat.
In a separate saucepan, bring 2 litres of water to the boil over a medium heat. Add the egg noodles and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the noodles are soft. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Heat a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil and saute the paste for a further minute, then add the paste to the chicken and anchovy stock. Turn the heat back on and bring to the boil. Add the coconut milk and tofu, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the noodles and beansprouts and cook for 1 minute. Garnish with chilli, fried shallots, mint leaves, lime wedges and hard-boiled eggs and serve straight away.
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Reprinted from Amazing Malaysian: Recipes for Vibrant Malaysian Home-Cooking. Copyright © 2016 by Norman Musa. Published by Penguin Books UK.