Ok, I know I’m 2 weeks behind but HELLO LOVER. Anthony Bourdain confessed to loving Laksa on Top Chef? Hi, how are you. It’s L-O-V-E.
Laksa, a traditional Malaysian dish is my absolute FAVE. I could eat it for breakie, lunchie and din din every day. There are so many versions of Laksa (mostly varies by region) but at it’s essence it’s a fish or curry “gravy” which you top off with thick rice noodles, shreds of lettuce, thin slivers of red onion and cucumber, a hard boiled egg and the juice of a quarter of a lime. It’s a hearty and flavorful dish which is spiced with tamarind, belachan (fermented shrimp paste), chili paste, Kesum/Kaffir limes leaves, lemongrass and Kantan flowers. The process of making good laksa is rather long and precise but it yields the most fragrant, interesting ans satisfying dish. Here’s my Mom’s recipe (CLEARLY the best one out there).
2 or 3 medium size Mackerel fish (gutted with the head attached)
3 to 4 Tbs Chili paste (plain type, 100%chili paste)
2 large onions
1/2″ cube Belachan (Malaysian fermented shrimps paste)
1/2 cup Tamarind juice ( 1 tbsp Tamarind paste, add water to dilute it)
1 or 2 Kantan Flower ( cut into two, lengthwise)
A bunch of Kesum/Kaffir lime leaves with stem (rinse and discard the unhealthy/yellow leaves)
1 stalk of Lemon Grass (discard the hard outer layer, cut top off. Use only the bulb, about 4″ od 5″ long. Wash and crush it with the back of the knife)
Salad leaves (thinly sliced)
Cucumber (thinly sliced)
Sweet Onions (thinly sliced)
Lime ( quartered)
Fresh red or green chilies (thinly sliced)
Boiled Eggs (quartered)
Mint Leaves ( whole) optional
Dried large size. Soak in cold water for few hours. Rinse and boil for a few minutes only. Drain.
1. Boil fish with a little water, add salt and a bit of tamarind juice. Boil for 10 minutes or till the flesh is flaky. Drain and strain the soup into a stock pot.
2. De-boned the fish using fork, reserved the bones.
3. Blend the flesh (add water) and add to the soup.
4. Blend fish bones (add water) and strain the soup into the stock pot. Repeat this process 2 to 3 more times. Make sure there are no bones into the soup.
5. Put the stock pot the the stove over medium heat, and add……..
blended onions, chili paste (blended with Belachan), Tamarind juice, salt, Kesum leaves, Kantan flower, Lemon Grass.
6. Add enough water.
7. When the soup boils, lower the heat and let it simmer for an hour, but stir it often.
8. Adjust seasoning, if the soup is too thick add boiling water.
9. Laksa should be served pipping hot.