Friday, November 18, 2005

Sarawak Laksa

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 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 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 i had lots of rice vermicelli and prawns to clear before i fly 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
1 egg
beansprouts...i personally don''t like 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 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 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.


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bakirbujang said...

Quite a recipe you have, congrats. Now lots of mutant new recipe as an viruses pattern. I don't know that Laksa Sarawak have a daun kari. But it is good for a variety. There is few spot offer nice Laksa Sarawak in Kuching.
1) A small cafe apposite City Inn at padungan area (muslim if not sure don't go) its simple muslim rule.
2) Jalan Patingan along Sarawak river (10.00 am not sure still available)
3) Coffee house apposite Choice Ria Satok

Enjoy your dishes and share if there is nice place to have Laksa Sarawak in Kuching.

hobart said...

wow...thanks...yeah...i added daun kari because i like the long as i don't eat it lar :) I'm from Kuching and i didn't even know those places existed for laksa...i'll be home soon and i'll check them out :) and i'll let u know if i do find some other place for superb laksa Sarawak

Anonymous said...

Well done man! I live in Canberra and I am lazy do I just use laksa paste in jar. There is even a Aussie variety. The best one is from Singapore. Each time I came back from Sarawak, I would always bring with me 4-5 packs of Sarawak laksa paste. You can buy them at Everise. One day, I would like to start from scratch, because none of the laksa paste in jar taste like the great Sarawak laksa.

Emma Singapore said...

My sis acme and gave me a pkt of cap burung sambal laksa . says rm8.80 on it and made in Kuching.600 gm

For 2 adults how to make the laksa broth and how many tablespoon sambal to use. We do not like very spicy. Txs.

panasonic said...

try checking out these dudes are laksa freaks!

PabloPabla said...

My recipe :-

Cikgu Asri said...

You can get the best and original taste of Laksa Sarawak Paste at I like the laste... yummmmm...yummm...

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting how you make the paste from scratch. i appreciate all the other comments leading to posts where the people give cooking directions (AND NOT recipes) with store bought laksa paste, so you WIN! THANK YOU!