Laksa, laksa, laksa! This is one of the local food that Singaporeans likes. There are many types of Laksa. The more famous Laksa are Nonya Laksa, Curry Laksa and Penang Laksa.
Nonya Laksa is the traditional Laksa. It uses prawn stock and lots of coconut milk in it. Curry Laksa also uses coconut but instead of prawn stock, it used chicken stock and yellow noodles instead of the traditionally used rice vermicelli. Penang Laksa on the other hand uses a fish based soup. Tamarind is added in it to give the soup a sour taste.
The very famous Laksa in Singapore is Katong Laksa where the noodles are cut into smaller pieces and you eat the Laksa with a spoon alone, without the use of chopsticks or fork.
What I have done is Nonya Laksa or at least closest to it compared to the other two Laksa version I have mentioned earlier.
Grind into paste:
- Rice Vermicelli, scalded and drained
- 500 ml coconut milk
- 300g Medium Prawns
- 2 Fish Cakes, sliced
- 100g Bean Sprout, slightly blanched just before serving
- 10 pieces Tau Pok
- 100g Fresh Cockles (optional)
- 10 sprig Laksa Leaves aka Vietnamese Mint aka Daun Kesom
- 50g Dried Prawns, grind
- 150ml Oil
- 750ml Water
- Salt and Rock Sugar to taste
How to do it:
- 1 whole Garlic
- 10 Shallots
- 1/2 tablespoon Turmeric aka Kunyit
- 1 tablespoon Galangal aka Lengkuas
- 4 Candlenuts aka Buah Keras
- 1 stalk Lemon Grass aks Serai
- 2 teaspoon Shrimp Paste aka Belachan
- 12 Dried Chillies, soaked to soften
- Blanch prawns in 750ml of water till 90% cooked.
- Remove shells and return them to the pot of stock.
- Set prawns aside.
- Add in Laksa Leaves and bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Heat oil in wok.
- Fry the paste for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add in dried shrimp and continue frying the paste for another 5 minutes.
- Pour the content to the pot of stock.
- Bring to boil.
- Gradually add in coconut milk.
- Simmer till you see red oil surfacing.
- Add salt and rock sugar to taste.
- Add in the tau pok to cook for 2 minutes just before serving. This helps tau pok absorb Laksa gravy.
- Put rice vermicelli in a bowl.
- Top with tau pok, fish cakes, bean sprout and cockles.
- Pour hot gravy over and serve immediately.
- If you prefer your Laska to be spicy, add chilli paste to your bowl of Laksa.
- Chop some Laksa Leaves for garnishing if you like.
- For convenience, I used packed coconut. Fresh coconut milk extract will taste and smell better.