We celebrated Alex’s 12th birthday recently. 12!!! Sob! Where did my baby go? He has grown into a young man, apparently. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before but Alex is on the Autism spectrum and it has been a long road to help get him to where he is right now. He has progressed so much in the past few years (with a lot of hard work and therapies) and we are so proud of him! We continue to strive to help him reach his fullest potential.
Sometimes, when I see other moms with kids on the spectrum looking so sad, tired, and probably feeling hopeless when dealing with the multitude of challenges that come with the disorder, I just want to give them a hug and tell them that things will work out…they will be okay! At the same time, I know how difficult it is to believe that statement in the midst of it all. If you know a family with an Autistic child, please be sensitive about what these parents go through and refrain from making judgmental comments (even if you mean well). It is a disorder, and is not the result of something the parents did or did not do. They already beat themselves up more than you would ever even begin to imagine, trust me. Be courteous and be kind, that’s all anybody could ask for. :)
I had always wonder how we could eat so much spicy food living in Malaysia, I mean considering how hot and humid the weather is. You would think all we would want to eat is something cold and cooling ALL the time. But nope! Nature gives us lots of spices and hot peppers and they definitely don’t go to waste. After a while, I guess you do get used to the heat – weather or food, they sort of all just blend together. One of my favorite spicy dishes is laksa (a spicy noodle soup), specifically Sarawak laksa since that was what I grew up with. It is commonly purchased from the many hawker food stalls that are available back home, instead of being homemade. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty deprived of laksa (and many other things) when I first moved here. Thankfully, for several years now, we can find laksa paste over here in the States. My favorite is the Tean’s Gourmet Curry Laksa Paste. It’s so, sooooooo good, I would eat this even when it’s 90 degrees out! No more feeling deprived of laksa. Enjoy!
Note: Surprisingly, I can actually find Tean’s Gourmet Curry Laksa Paste at my local Asian store. If you can’t find the laksa paste anywhere near you, you can purchase it online at AsianSupermarket365.com. When making the laksa, I use low-sodium chicken broth (Swanson brand) instead of water to give the soup an extra boost of flavor and as for the noodle, I use bee hoon (thin rice sticks). My favorite brand is the Dynasty Maifun Rice Sticks, which can usually be found in the Asian aisle in your regular grocery store. We eat our laksa topped with soft fried tofu, bean sprouts, shredded rotisserie chicken breasts, shrimp, sliced omelet, and a hefty squeeze of lime…so DELICIOUS! Please also note that the instructions on the back of the laksa package are different from my instructions here – my aim is to get the taste as close to Sarawak laksa as I could, which I think I did.
1 (6.75-ounce) package Dynasty Maifun Rice Sticks
12 ounces bean sprouts
8 ounces medium shrimp, thawed if using frozen
1 (32-ounce) carton Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken Broth
1 (7-ounce) package Tean’s Gourmet Curry Laksa Paste
1 (4.75-ounce) package small fried tofu
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
3 extra-large eggs
Rotisserie chicken breast
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add noodles and cook until tender but firm to the bite (if the noodles are gummy, you’ve overcooked it), about 10 minutes. Remove noodles to a dish. Bring the same pot of water to a boil again over high heat (replenish water if necessary). Add bean sprouts and cook until wilted but still crunchy, about 2 minutes. Remove bean sprouts to a dish and set aside. Bring water to a boil again and add a generous amount of salt. Add shrimp and cook until curled, about 30 seconds. Remove shrimp to a dish. At this point, discard cooking water. In the same pot (which is now empty), add chicken broth and bring it to a boil over high heat. Mix in the laksa paste, add the fried tofu and coconut milk, and bring it to a quick boil again. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Whisk eggs with a pinch of salt and pour into the hot pan (you may have to cook in two batches depending on the size of your skillet). Cook until egg is mostly set, carefully flip it over, and continue to cook until egg is firm but tender and lightly browned on both sides. Remove from heat, cool, and slice thinly. Shred rotisserie chicken breast.
Putting it all together: Place noodles in a bowl or soup dish, and add as much or as little bean sprouts, shredded chicken breast, shrimp, and sliced omelet as you like. Pour the hot laksa broth into the bowl along with some tofu. Serve hot, with a squeeze of lime! Yum!