My mum’s homemade Laksa recipe, also known as laksa lemak of Laksa Johor, with homemade paste from scratch plus a Cheat’s Laksa Recipe!
- 2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
- 400ml (1 3/5 cup) coconut milk
- 200ml (4/5 cup) water
- 200g (3.5 oz) chicken, cut to bite size pieces
- 200g (3.5 oz) prawns (shrimps)
- 600g 1 1/3 lb) fresh rice noodles (if dried, enough for 4 people)
- 4 handfuls beansprouts
- Herbs – Vietnamese coriander, lime leaves or fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 Tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in very hot water for 10 minutes
- I large onion
- 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced thinly
- 5 – 10 dried red chillies, soaked in very hot water for 10 minutes
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2.5cm (1″) galangal or 1 tsp shop bought paste
- 6 candlenuts (or macadamia nuts)
- 2 tsp shrimp paste, toasted
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- lime wedges
- fried tofu – just cubes of fresh tofu fried in a little oil for 5 minutes until golden
- slices of fishcake
- 4 boiled eggs, halved
- julienned cucumber
- strips of Vietnamese Coriander or real fresh coriander, finely chopped
- sambal or chilli paste
- Drain the dried shrimp and either pound in a pestle and mortar or chop in a chopper. In the latter, you’ll end up with a floss like result, which is perfect. If you’re pounding, try and break the shrimps down as much as you can.
- To toast the shrimp paste, watch the video.
- Place all the paste ingredients, starting with the onion and lemongrass in the same unrinsed chopper and chop to get a fairly smooth paste.
- Add each ingredient in the order that it’s listed above. This allows the more fibrous lemongrass and dried chilli to get a longer chopping time.
- I don’t add any water as the moisture from the onion is usually enough but if you find yourself stuck, literally, add a tablespoon or two. When all’s done, set it aside.
- Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan or deep wok over medium high heat and sauté the paste ingredients for about 2 minutes until you get a wonderful cooked aroma from the paste.
- Lower the heat down and add the pounded shrimp, stirring well for 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken and coat thoroughly.
- Pour in the coconut milk and water and bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remember, don’t cook on high heat when using coconut milk.
- Add the prawns, lime leaves and Vietnamese coriander or lime leaves, half a tsp of salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Check seasoning, then turn the heat off.
- We are now going to blanch the noodles and beansprouts separately, then dish up. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Add 1 tablespoon of salt.
- If using dried noodles, follow packet instructions to soften, which usually involves soaking them for 15 minutes or so first.
- Have a large Chinese strainer/skimmer at hand or something similar. Place the noodles in the simmering water and cook for just 1 minute and remove. If you don’t have a strainer, just use a sieve and strain the water into another saucepan, as we will be using the same water for the beansprouts. Set the noodles aside.
- Do the same with the beansprouts. You could leave them raw/fresh but just make sure they’re not too cold.
To Serve – Here’s how we eat Laksa!
- Place some noodles in a bowl.
- Top with a handful of beansprouts.
- Ladle some laksa gravy over.
- Top with condiments/garnish of your choice – eggs, fishcakes, herbs, cucumber, etc.
- Squeeze some lime juice all over.
- Top with sambal/chilli paste.
- Then feast your soul!
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Singaporean and Malaysian
- Serving Size: 4