If someone offer you a bowl of good laksa... would you politely decline or would you have a Cheshire Cat smile and accept whole heartedly?
Shamelessly....I am the later type of person...
Just in case you were wondering..."What is Laksa?" ...Laksa is a bowl of noodles serve in broth with some garnishing. Its the broth that define what type of Laksa it is... whether its fish based sour and spicy soup or thick and creamy 'curry' like soup.
I wouldn't be wrong if I were to say that Malaysia is a Laksa Haven . I guess I could divide my Laksa 'adventure' into 4 ~ North, South, East Coast and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak).
Here is my quick snippets of the gorgeous mouth watering Laksa...
- North ~Laksa Utara click here for recipe (from Perlis, Kedah and Penang) is mostly fish based broth with sourish taste and serve with Rice Noodles, lots of cut up bird's eye chilli, and local fresh herbs. Slight variants to the type of fish used to make the broth between the States.
- South ~ Laksa Johor click here for recipe comes from Southern State (Johor) ~ the broth is again fish based broth with spices and coconut milk added. Spaghetti is used in Laksa Johor instead of Asian noodles (yellow noodles or vermicelli or flat rice noodles).
- East Coast ~ Laksa Kelantan. Broth is made up of fish and it has different texture, taste and colour. The authentic Laksa Kelantan is serve with sambal, thinly sliced snake beans and homemade rice flour flat noodles.
- East Malaysia ~ Laksa Sarawak ~ again the taste is distinctively different from the rest.
I have another Laksa to add to my list... its Nonya Curry Laksa.
The Flavours of Nonya Curry Laksa is unique, in comparisons to Laksa(s) I have tasted.
The preparation was laborious.... alas! to be rewarded with a hot bowl of Nonya Curry Laksa is worth all the slogging, sweat and hard work in the kitchen .... so satisfying, even kids were asking for more.
Note :Nonya Curry Laksa uses a combination of vermicelli and yellow noodles, however, all of us agreed that vermicelli absorb the broth flavour better than the yellow noodle...
Do you know of any Laksa and wanted to add on to my list? Feel free to share ...
Recipe (adapted from Pasar Malam delights with modifications)
500g yellow noodles300g vermicelli noodles200 g prawns ~ deveined and leave the tail intactfinely sliced ginger flower (bunga kantan)mint leaves4 pieces cooked chicken thigh-sliced thinlyGolden fried shallots
2500ml water1 tablespoon raw sugarsalt150ml light soy sauce5 Sprigs of vietnamese mint (daun kesum)3 stalks of lemongrass - bruised6 kaffir lime leaves300ml coconut cream12 deep fried beancurd (tau pok) - halved.
Spice for Broth
200ml canola oil (cooking oil)1 large red onion15 dried chillies -soaked2cm tumeric2 cm galangal5 stalks of lemongrass10 candlenuts1 tablespoon of Maggi prawn paste granules (belacan)
Sambal (Chilli Paste)
10 dried chillies- soaked1 medium size red onion4 garlic1 teaspoon coriander seeds (ground)1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder1 teaspoon Maggi prawn paste granules (belacan)3 stalks of lemongrasssaltsugar50 ml coconut milk1/2 cup of oil
- Blend the spices (under the heading of Spice for Broth) into a smooth paste.
- Saute until fragrant in 1/2 cup of oil.
- Add in water, sugar, salt to taste, soy sauce.
- Bring to boil.
- Then add vietnamese mint, bruised lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
- Bring to a quick boil then lower the heat into a simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add coconut cream and deep fried beancurd.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Sambal (chilli paste)
- Blend the spices into a smooth paste.
- Cook the blended spice in 1/2 cup of oil at low heat until aromatic (into a thick paste).
- Put aside.
Noodles and condiment.
- Blanch the yellow noodles and vermicelli (separately) for 5 minutes. Drain.
- Divide the yellow noodle, vermicelli, prawns, and chicken slices into individual bowls.