Less than two weeks before i return to home sweet home and i'm already craving the food back home , especially the three treasures of Kuching and dare i say , Sarawak , local dishes . These treasures in no particular order (in my mind) are kolo mee , foochow kam pua mee (i'm true to the foochow side of me) and of course , Sarawak Laksa...not the KL imitations that are simply different...the real Sarawak Laksa...the rich belachan , tamarind paste and lemongrass based broth enveloping the soft lucious rice vermicelli (none of those fat yellow noodle versions which i refuse to take) all accompanied with heaps of tauge (bean sprouts) , large prawns , chicken shreds , sometimes a touch of coriander and my favourite...heaps of omelette shreds.
I searched in vain for a recipe from the most reliable source (the net lar) in vain. It seems no one has ever posted up a Sarawak Laksa recipe...there's the Penang one , the Lemak Laksa and all sorts of laksa but the Sarawak laksa...sigh...no trace of it. Perhaps its one passed down in families only? And so i set out assimilating my memory and knowledge of curries to create my own. The initial yellow colour of my broth was deceptive until i mixed in the vercimelli and tasted it...ahh...what's that i feel? Not just satisfaction but pride...haha. I don't dare say its an exact Sarawak Laksa replica...but i tried my best and i'm sitting here typing with a runny nose from the spices...so don't go after me if it doesn't meet your standards hor...but it should. This recipe is quite budget lor if you make lots of curries and have the ingredients lying around like me...plus i had lots of rice vermicelli and prawns to clear before i fly home...so i only had to buy the most important ingredient - belachan paste . And so...i give to you...Sarawak Laksa:
What you need ar?
6 tablespoons belachan paste
1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind paste...duh
3 stalks lemongrass...hard outer layers removed , soft inner layer chopped
4 cloves garlic...chopped
3 small red chillies...chopped
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1/2 tablespoon hot paprika powder (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
5 curry leaves
3 lime leaves
50 ml coconut cream
100 ml coconut milk
500 ml of water
2 tablespoons palm oil
100 g rice vermicelli...this one depends on how much you want to eat hor
prawns...this wan depends on how much you like seafood hor
beansprouts...i personally don''t like beansprouts...so this one depends on individual taste lor...
a touch of coriander :)
Now follow instructions carefully liao:
Wait...for those of you who are unable to consume spicy food comfortably , please be warned that this dish is HOT...but what's laksa without its spiciness eh? I guess you can reduce the amount of spices used...get rid off the chilli powder if you want but always mantain the belachan paste.
The most important thing is the broth. So here's how i made it...First , put the garlic (should be chopped by now ar) , lemongrass (should already be chopped also hor) and the chillies (need i tell you?..these should also be chopped already) into a blender / processor to blend the tastes together....or just chop them really fine. What you should get is a strong pungent mix that if mixed with soy sauce will taste good with chicken rice , like Noel's cheater's chicken rice...haha. In a pot of reasonable size , saute this mix with palm oil (actually...what oil you use doesn't really matter lar) for a while. When you feel happy enough with the frangrance (not till everything's burnt lar) , pour in the coconut cream and mix . Then , pour in the coconut milk too . At this point , mix in the belachan paste , tamarind paste , turmeric powder , chilli powder , paprika powder and brown sugar . For extra taste , add the lime and curry leaves (preferably torn to expedite this process) . Let this simmer for a while and to make sure your broth isn't too sticky , fill her up with water .
As i said , the broth is most of the work...so after this , all you need to do is cook your vermicelli , prawns and tauge...i just boil them in a pot of water and set them aside in that order . If you love omelette shreds like me , fry an egg and cut it lor. Sadly , if you haven't noticed , i did not have the time to cook and shred chicken...i'm still in exam mode hor. Maybe just buy some cooked chicken and shred lar.
Anyway...pour your broth in a bowl (making sure you filter all the chunky leaves and all) , drop the vermicelli in , then decorate with prawns , coriander , tauge and omelette shreds as i did...haha.Oh...how could i forget? Serve with some extra belachan and of course , the half lime.
Enjoy it piping hot and get set for a night of sweat , runny noses and bowel problems later...haha...but it's worth it.
Tags: noodles sarawak laksa budget recipe