Sunday, April 27, 2008

Laksa Lemak Recipe

2 lb fresh yellow egg [chow mein noodles]
2 lb fresh shrimps, save shells to make 2 cups shrimp stock
1 onion, quartered
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed
3-4 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
10 sprigs laksa leaves [Vietnamese mint, Holy mint or Polygonum odoratum] [Substitute: fresh mint sprigs]
4 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and bashed
4 sprigs curry leaves [optional]
Salt and pepper
1-1½ tbsp sugar
2 cans coconut milk
8 cups water
4 pieces dried tamarind skins [asam gelugor] [Substitute: ½ cup key lime juice]
4 tbsp or to taste, chili paste
20 shallots
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 inch fresh turmeric root [lengkuas], sliced
2 inch fresh galangal [lengkuas in Malay], sliced
1 tbsp belacan, also spelt belachan or blacan [dried shrimp paste]

Ingredients for Garnishing :
cooked shrimp [from making the stock]
4 cups fresh bean sprouts
4 tbsp shallots, sliced thinly, fried golden brown
2 cups seedless cucumber, finely shredded
1 fresh pineapple, cut into thin strips [Substitute: 4 to 6 oz canned pineapple]
2 red onions, very thinly sliced
3 torch ginger [bunga kantan], finely chopped [optional]
4 red Serrano chilies, seeded, finely sliced [optional]
10 sprigs fresh mint leaves, stems discarded
12 kaffir limes, cut into halves

To Prepare :

-Using a mortar & pestle or blender, grind chili paste, belacan, galangal, turmeric root, shallots and coriander seeds into a paste
-Peel shrimp, save shells, roughly pound shrimp shells [if preferred, set aside a few shrimps in the shell, for presentation]
-In a stockpot add onion, garlic, 2 cups water, simmer 15-20 mins to extract maximum flavor, strain, discard shells
-Add shrimp to stock, cook until just opaque, remove shrimp with a slotted spoon, set aside for garnish [if preferred, cook a few shrimps in the shell, for presentation]
-Heat wok, add peanut or vegetable oil, add ground paste, stir-fry until quite toasted and oil starts to ooze from paste - do not burn!
-Add shrimp stock, bring to a boil, simmer rapidly 3 mins, then transfer into a stockpot
-In the stockpot, coconut milk , the rest of the water, lemongrass stalks, sugar, dried tamarind skins [asam gelugur ], curry leaves [optional], and season with salt and pepper
-Simmer on med heat for 20-30 mins
-Do a taste for salt and sugar, add accordingly and keep soup hot on low heat, for serving
-Using a sieve, blanch noodles in hot water to warm up noodles
-Assemble individual serving bowls - put some bean sprouts into a bowl, followed by a handful of noodles, ladle piping hot soup over noodles and garnish with a little of each - fried shallots, cucumber, pineapple, onions, mint leaves, torch ginger [optional], red Serrano chilies [optional] and a lime half


No comments: