Miri is Byron's hometown, it's located in the state of Sarawak on the coast of East Malaysia and one of this region's famous dishes is the traditional Sarawak Laksa.
Sarawak laksa, in contrast to curry laksa is actually made using a fermented fried or toasted shrimp paste known as Sambal belacan. The 'curry' is then made by pounding the shrimp paste and fresh chillis together with a pestle and mortar to which coconut milk, sugar, lime juice, ginger (galangal- blue ginger), lemongrass root, garlic, sour tamarind and salt are added.
In our version, the curry was then ladled over cooked thin rice noodles and topped with shredded chicken, plump prawns and impossibly thin ribbons of egg made from a sliced omelette. A generous squeeze of a small Malaysian lime greatly enhanced the spicy Sarawak laksa and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the small lime's juice tasted.
Best eaten with the company of new and old friends and a must try if you ever venture to Sarawak. Fresh, crunchy bean sprouts and coriander may also enhance the Sarawak laksa, though to be honest I don't believe the dish requires any 'dressing-up' as it definitely holds it's own very proudly around a crowded table.
Not surprisingly, it was difficult to stop at one bowl.