Friday, October 16, 2009

Homemade Laksa

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!

Recipe
Serves 2
- 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.

28 comments:

  1. I LOVE the look of this..I am making :une soupe Tonkinoise" for lunch:) I think I have the day off..but I wish we were eating your soup..Katong looks great JU..I wish we could see the water proximity in the photo..I am going to Google Image later..Now I can picture you shopping there..

    Wish I had 2 big prawns for my soup:)

    Ju..how did you cut your cake so perfectly..did I miss the tip?

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  2. The weather is so cold here. I wish I can have a bowl of your piping hot Laksa for breakfast now. Is sure look good :)

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  3. this looks wonderful..didn't know that vietnamese coriander is the same as laksa!

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  4. I love laksa! But normally i will just settle with Katong Laksa. :p It takes effort to come out with a bowl like this. Bravo!

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  5. Une assiette magnifique, j'aime la couleur, je n'ai pas tout compris, mais je reviens avec mon dictionnaire, je veux tout savoir !

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  6. Oh My Goodness, LTC. This looks FABULOUS!!

    I am so jealous that you can get FRESHLY grated coconut. Not to mention the very freshest shrimp... I miss my old home near San Francisco where I could buy them live. You are so fortunate!! xo

    Do you tire of hearing how gorgeous your photos are? I hope not. :) They are stellar.

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  7. I like KF Seetoh, he's super funny!

    Laksa is one of the things that makes me so wanna visit Singapore! Yours looks stunning!

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  8. Ahhh. laksa! When I read the title I thought you were referring to Assam Laksa as in Malaysia we call this as Curry Mee. heeheh.. looks great and the prawns, you are tempting me !!

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  9. As always, this is incredible... Very pretty photos. Come visit Kansas and cook for me

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  10. I've never had laksa, but boy would I love to try yours. You know it's almost impossible to find heads on shrimp where I live. Such a bummer.

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  11. So many unfamiliar food words! This cuisine never fails to amaze me. Looks really satisfying and good!

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  12. Ah...Laksa. I haven't made one from fresh ingredients for a long time. So many ready made rempah available nowadays makes us lazy. So envy you can get cheap curry leaves and freshly squeezed coconut milk. We only have one in the can or in powder form. They aint taste the same as the fresh one.

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  13. Oh I'm craving laksa now ..it looks fantastic Ju!:)

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  14. MMMMMMM,...i adore a good laksa!! What a tasty picture!!!

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  15. Nothing like homemade laksa for perfect comfort food! Yours look really good, especially with the huge prawns :P

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  16. Oh my goodness Little T! I am sitting here with a horrible cold and just looking at the picture of this makes me feel better. I would love to sit at your table and have some.
    Your pictures are just gorgeous...
    I could eat Asian food everyday and be a happy girl! But we normally go out to have it...I rarely make it at home...
    Thanks for the taste through the screen Ju!
    L~xo

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  17. Your homemade laksa looks absolutely fantastic with all the generous and yummy toppings! No wonder those laksa stalls at Katong are badly affected....

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  18. Can I have a bowl of this? Looking so tempting to me..yum yumm

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  19. Another wonderful looking meal that I am not familiar with, but hope to be soon! I can't wait until I have a few days to make some of my favorites from your blog. I love the story about the leaves...I've been in that position too, with other local greens.

    Thanks, Diane

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  20. Hi Little Teochew, ha ha, I love your callsign.
    And I sure love laksa.
    And yours look really sinfully delicious.
    I got the fantastic aroma here and busybody see who's cooking.

    One laksa I miss is with clams. Used to eat that longgggg ago at Bugis street wayyyy back in the 70's. I remember a shop in Beach too used to sell finger lickin' delicious laksa.

    Happy cooking, and keep a song in your heart, best regards, Lee.

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  21. hello teochew !!
    Bravo for these prawns !!
    you can come now to my blog last recipe is in english !! see you !!Pierre

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  22. Ciao carissima un applauso per questa pasta davvero gustosa. Un bacione, buonaserata Daniela.

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  23. What a gorgeous looking dish! It looks so yummy!

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  24. wow, this looks so lemaky and tasty!! I miss this!

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  25. Ju, are laksa leaves the same as curry leaves? Can they be substituted for one another? Don't think they have laksa leaves in australia.

    Thanks!

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  26. Quinn dear, they are not the same. According to Ravenous Couple who left a comment on this post, laksa leaves are the same as Vietnamese Coriander. Am I of any help? Sigh .. doesn't look like it, ya? :(

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  27. Wow! You cook it all huh? No substitute for fresh coconut milk. I could rau răm (vietnamese coriander) all day.

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