Delicious Laksa Lemak with garnishings (clockwise from top) of bean sprouts, slices of fish cakes, fried beancurd puffs (taufoo pok), steamed chicken slices, prawns/shrimps, fish balls and a condiment of prawn sambal with a squeeze of calamansi lime. In the centre, there is a sprinkle of shredded assam leaves and some mint leaves 😀
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival (Mooncake Festival) today, dear friends 😀
As promised a couple of weeks ago when I showed a picture of Laksa Lemak in my Nasi Lemak post, here is the recipe for my version of Laksa Lemak. I have not really cooked a Curry Laksa or Laksa Lemak before and I was inspired to cook this because I was craving for some Laksa after having watch the Asian Food Channel which featured Singapore’s Famous Katong Laksa. 🙄
After going through some Laksa recipes available on the Internet, I came up with the following recipe. Please note that this is a guideline only and the ingredients can be adjusted to suit your preferred taste, okay? 😉
Laksa Lemak (serves 10 persons)
Ingredients & Method for Soup Stock/Base –
Enough chicken necks and bones to make a good stock – cleaned and boiled in a stock pot of approximately 7 litres of water. Simmer over low heat for as long as possible to get the most flavour. You can do the other stuff while this is simmering away. Here, I had used 2 free range chicken/ayam kampung’ breasts and bones.
Meanwhile, blend the following ingredients to make up the spicy flavour to the soup –
Ingredients to be blended with some water – to spice up the soup –
10 fresh red chilli – deseeded if you want to reduce the spicyness
10 dried red chilli – omit and replace with fresh red chilli to reduce spicyness.
25 shallots – peeled (they give a natural sweetness and fuller flavour to the soup)
2 inch knob of fresh turmeric, or 2 tbsps of turmeric powder
2 inch knob of lengkuas or galangal
2 inch knob of fresh ginger
2 tbsps of toasted belacan powder/shrimp paste
10 candlenuts or buah keras
1 cup of dried prawns/shrimps – rinsed and soaked in some water for 20 minutes. Thereafter, pour the liquid into the simmering soup stock
Other ingredients –
4 stalks lemon grass – use the bottom 5 inches, bruised or smashed to release the aromatic oils
Fresh Santan or Coconut from 3 coconuts, or 3 to 4 cans of packets of coconut milk – this depends on your preference but more santan means a thicker soup
2 Bunga Kantan or Torch Ginger Flower – stalks removed, flower bud halved
1.5 kg fresh Laksa Noodles, or cooked Meehoon/Rice Vermicelli, or cooked spaghetti, or cooked fresh mee
Ingredients for Garnishings/Toppings –
2 whole chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs), deboned and rubbed with salt and pepper
20 fish balls
3 large fishcakes
1/2 kg fresh prawns/shrimps – peeled, cleaned and seasoned with some salt and pepper. The shells are dropped into the soup stock to simmer with chicken bones
Some bean sprouts, blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes (personally, I love to eat them raw with my laksa for that added crunch and flavour)
20 fried beancurd puffs or taufoo pok – put into boiling water for 1 minute, remove from water and squeezed dry to remove the oil in them
Polygonum Leaves or Assam Leaves – cleaned and shredded finely
1) The first thing is to start you chicken soup stock and while that is simmering away, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2) Put the prawn shells into the soup once you have shelled the prawns.
3) Place the deboned chicken meat into the soup pot (over low heat) for 15 minutes, until just done. Remove and plunge into cold water for 3 minutes. This makes the chicken texture really smooth and enjoyable. 💡 Remove chicken and rub all over with 1 tbsp of sesame oil and 1 tsp salt. Cut into strips or slices. Set aside as garnish.
4) Cook fish balls and fishcakes in the soup stock for about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside as garnish. Remember to slice the fishcakes.
5) In a small pot, pour in about 3 cups of the hot soup stock and cook the prawns for about 2 minutes, until they are just done. Remove the cooked prawns and rub 1/2 tsp salt over them. Pour back the leftover soup into the chicken soup stock.
6) Leave the soup stock to continue simmering…
7) Next, heat up the 2 cups of oil in a wok and then fry the blended spices for about 10 to 15 minutes, until fragrant. Remember to keep stirring to avoid burning.
8 ) Now, remove all the chicken bones and prawn shells from the soup stock with a slotted spoon.
9) Bring up the fire to high for the soup pot and add in the fried blended spices.
10) Add in the bruised lemon grass and bunga kantan or torch ginger flower.
11) Bring the soup to a rolling boil and simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
12) Bring to high heat again and add in the coconut milk.
13) Add in about 4 tbsps of salt and 2 tbsps of sugar. Check the taste of the soup and adjust seasonings accordingly. The soup should be more salty than normal because it has to balance with the bland taste of the noodles.
14) Lastly, add in the fried beancurd puffs/taufoo poks.
15) To cook the laksa noodles (only this type of noodles are cooked this way) – place some laksa noodles into a serving bowl (for one person), pour some hot laksa soup over and swish the noodles in the soup. Pour back the soup into the pot and scoop out more hot soup over the laksa in the bowl. Repeat this 2 to 3 times to heat up the laksa noodles thoroughly.
16) To serve, pour some hot, spicy, yummy laksa soup over the noodles (or other cooked noodles/meehoon/spaghetti)…..garnish with the various available topping…and Voila! Your very own homecooked Laksa.
It goes very well with some Prawn Sambal (Chili Paste) and a squeeze of lime. Below is my recipe for the Dried Prawn Sambal –
Dried Prawn Sambal
6 shallots, peeled and chopped finely
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely
6 dried chillis, soaked in hot water and pounded or blended
1 tbsp of toasted belacan or shrimp paste
1/2 cup of dried prawns, soaked in water, then chopped finely. Liquid is to be used in the soup stock
salt and sugar to taste
1 cup oil
1) In a wok, heat up the oil and fry the chopped garlic and shallots until golden brown. Remove garlic and shallots only, leaving the oil behind.
2) Now add in the chopped dried shrimps and fry for about 2 minutes, until aromatic.
3) Add in the pounded or blended dried chilli and fry for about 2 minutes with the prawns.
4) Next add back the golden shallots and garlic, and the toasted belacan or shrimp paste.
5) Mix everything thoroughly, add in 2 tbsps of sugar and enough salt to taste. Remove and set aside in a bowl.
6) To serve this sambal, put some into a soy sauce plate, and squeeze some lime juice over it. Wow, this just whets the appetite! 😀
Bon Appetit! I hope you like this Laksa recipe. The recipe may look tedious but the taste is well worth it and once you get the hang of cooking the laksa one time, it will be a breeze the next time! 😉