I happen to live in an area which has plenty of good food. One of my favourite dishes is Laksa. Obviously, all I need is a hop over to Katong and I get my fix. But today, I wondered if I could make my own, since I had a full tub of homemade rempah stored in my freezer. Besides, Katong Laksa is no longer the same anymore :(
I decided that perhaps it was worth a try, since it would be a lot cheaper to cook my own than to buy, especially for big quantities.
The lady at the market sold me $0.20 worth of Laksa leaves - the minimum amount - which was really a HEAP of Laksa leaves. If I could live through winter on Laksa leaves, I would survive very well! An old lady waiting her turn at the stall looked at me, then at the Laksa leaves, and we both burst out laughing. She asked in jest, "How much Laksa do you have to cook to finish that up?!" So comical, I tell you.
I also bought 1 freshly grated coconut and used the milk from the first press, which yields a very thick cream.
To enhance the flavour of the stock, I soaked some dried shrimps (hay bee/udang kering) and then pounded them. It lent a delightful sweetness to the coconut gravy.
Of course, when you are cooking for yourself, you can afford to load up on the good stuff. So it was nice, plump, juicy, whole prawns and plenty of crunchy bean sprouts for me :)
This was a great dish for a rainy night!
- 2 to 3 tbsp rempah
- Fresh, thick beehoon (rice noodles), quantity depends on how hungry you both are ;)
- Freshly squeezed coconut milk from 1 coconut
- 6 fresh shrimps
- 2 large handfuls of beansprouts (blanched briefly in hot water to retain its crunchiness)
- 1 hard boiled egg, shelled and halved lengthwise
- 1 tbsp dried shrimps, soaked in water to softened and then pounded coarsely
- 2 sprigs Laksa leaves (remove the leaves from the stem and cut into bits)
- 1 fishcake, sliced thinly (optional)
- 2 to 3 tofu puffs, sliced into thick strips (optional)
- Chicken stock, on standby
- Salt (if required)
1. Rinse the thick beehoon, drain and leave aside.
2. In a pot, heat up a little oil and fry rempah till fragrant.
3. Add coconut milk, Laksa leaves and pounded dried shrimps. If the gravy looks too thick, add a little chicken stock to dilute. Simmer over a low heat for about 5mins.
4. Throw in thick beehoon and prawns. Simmer without lid for about 3mins.
5. Add in tofu puffs and fish cake slices and cook for another 1min. Add salt, if required.
6. Dish up ingredients into bowls and pour in coconut gravy. Add hard boiled egg and beansprouts, and garnish with Laksa leaves. Serve immediately.
Did you catch the episode where Singapore's food guru, KF Seetoh, taught Martha Stewart how to cook Laksa? You can watch it here.