Friday, June 14, 2013

And Now For Something Completely Different: White Peach Laksa from Azalina's Malaysian

I've blogged here and elsewhere in the past about Azalina Eusope's excellent Penang-style Malaysian food offerings, including savory laksas.  Her Azalina's Malaysian stall is one of the things that keeps me returning to Off The Grid's Friday night Fort Mason Center events.

Azalina inherited a legacy of five generations of street food vending, but in addition to maintaining that legacy in admirable fashion, her restless creativity  is constantly pushing her to greater levels of complexity and originality. Her White Peach Curry Laksa, which I enjoyed tonight, is a case in point.   Azalina likes to pull her own laksa noodles, and occasionally color and flavor them with various types of vegetation.  This is not unusual in itself, but what is unusual, and probably unique, was her inspiration for using freshly picked California White Peaches as an ingredient.

Azalina's Malaysian's White Peach Noodle Laksa, featured at Off the Grid the past two Friday nights, not only uses peach in the broth, along with lemongrass, coconut and the usual spices,  but also incorporates peach pulp in the noodles. The chief effect of this, according to Azalina and supported by my own experience, is a softer, more unctuous noodle. It also undoubtedly adds to the peachy tartness of the soup, though it's difficult to tell how much of this comes from the noodle itself. But the end result was very salubrious.  I can't say I could really detect much peach flavor (and the fact that I ordered my laksa extra spicy probably didn't help) but the extra tartness was palpable, and had the salubrious effect of neutering any potential cloying sweetness from the coconut, making for a wonderfully delicious bowl of laksa.

[Noodle photo courtesy Azalina Eusope]

Where slurped: Azalina's Malaysian food stall, Off the Grid Fort Mason Center

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