I have only spent one day in south east Asia, and that was just a very long wait at Kuala Lumpur airport en route to India. But a meal I had there has stuck in my mind ever since - simple mound of rice with a few shreds of something green, served with chili sauce, fish sauce, a sprinkle of raw peanuts and a sprinkle of tiny dried fish - probably anchovies. It was magnificent airport food - which is not supposed to exist.
I went shopping in the Asian Section and got the tiny fish (tasty but heartbreaking), lime juice, coconut milk, and some palm sugar. I have seen this mentioned and had a clear idea of how it would taste - I was wrong. The stuff I tried had no real flavour and I will just use brown sugar in future.
Hmm. I started this several days ago and I'm not sure what I was going to go on to say. Probably that I cooked a kind of stir fry but with the wrong kind of noodles, too wet - then compounded the error by throwing in a small tin of coconut milk at the end. Recipe? Er - more of a vibe. It turned into a kind of part laksa, part hot 'n' spicy wallpaper paste.
If it was gymnastics, I would say it was a lovely routine spoiled by a fall near the end - but I got back on that balance beam, soldiered on, and nailed the dismount perfectly (crunchy dried fish and cashews scattered over it were ace).