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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nyonya Laksa with Prawns and Chicken

             Most Malaysians, love eating Laksa whether Nyonya Laksa or Curry Laksa  Most of us have grown up eating this either at street stalls/market or at home lovingly prepared by our grandmother, mum or mother in law and it was like a staple food for us.  My late Mother in law is a Peranakan and a fabulous cook to boot.  It was a real pity I didnt get to learn this from her however, my next best resort was to learn this as this is one of my better half's favourite and then to modify it to suit his taste bud and one of his penchant was, he loved to have his bowl of hot, steaming laksa, temptingly red in appearance though not necessarily to be firery hot/pedas so I would "lovingly" remove the seeds from the chillies but retain the membrane.  Just as a point of interest, if you were to remove the seeds; remember not to remove the casing sticking to the seeds as the heat comes from, not only from the chilli seeds, but also from the casing; so we are told at class :)

                                       Nyonya Laksa with Chicken and Prawns


                8                 Fresh Red Chillies, remove seeds
                5                 Dried Chillies, remove seeds
                3 stalks        *Fresh Lemon Grass/Serai
                2"                *Fresh Tumeric/Kunyit
                3 slices       *Galanga/Lengkuas
              10                  *Buah Keras, opt
              16                  Shallots/medium size small Onions


              50 gm            Dried Prawns, soak in hot water for 15
                                    minutes, wash then pound/blend separately


              500 gm          Yellow mee, blanch in hot water short while then drain

                  2 sprigs       PolygonumDaun Kesom
                  2                 wild Ginger Bud/Bunga Kantan
                  7                 cups Water [cake measuring cup]
               1 1/2              cups Fresh Santan [cake measuring cup]
                1/2                cup Oil [cake measuring cup]
                                     Salt to taste
               1/2 Tabsp      Sugar
              300 gm           Medium size Prawns
                10                 Medium size Chicken Wings, chopped into 2
               300 gm          Beans Sprout/Taugeh, blanch in hot water


                3 sprigs         Polygonum/Daun Kesom, sliced
                1                   wild Ginger Bud/Bunga Kantan, sliced
                1                   Cucumber, remove skin, centre & sliced
                3                   Eggs beaten make into thin ommelette & sliced
                                     Or make hard boiled eggs, halved
                2                   Red Chillies, sliced

                Serve also with Sambal Belacan & limau kasturi

                Method for Laksa
  1. Soak the dried chillies in hot water for 30 minutes
  2. Wash then soak the dried prawns in hot water for 15 minutes. Pound/blend the dried prawns separately. Split this into 2 equal parts; one to mix in the blended rempah & the other to fry in the oil to get the oil fragrant.
  3. Pound the Galanga/Lengkuas, Lemon Grass/Serai, Fresh Tumeric/Kunyit, Buah Keras slightly first as these 4 are quite tough and hard to get them blended finely.
  4. Blend the Galanga/Lengkuas, Lemon Grass/Serai, Tumeric/Kunyit, Buah Keras, dried chillies & red chillies until fine, adding a little oil if necessary to get the blades moving easily.
  5. Add 1 portion of the finely pounded dried prawns to the blended rempah.
  6. Heat the oil in a pot. When hot throw in the other half portion of the blended dried prawns & stir & fry short while till fragrant.
  7. Add in the blended rempah & fry till oil separates about 10 minutes.
  8. Add in the chicken, daun kesom, bunga kantan stir for a while then add in the water & bring it to a gentle boil for 15 minutes.
  9. Reduce fire to medium heat add in the prawns, sugar [opt], salt & Santan & simmer for 10 minutes [fire is medium as 1. you dont want to over cook the prawns and 2.  the Santan will curdle easily if fire is big and you will get a "biji biji" texture in the gravy :) ]
          Notes:- Prepare the ingredients for the Garnish and then place them in individual bowls and on a platter.  When I went for the class, the Chef placed all these individual bowls in a large platter and of course, when I came back, I had to do that too so hubby gamely took me, after all, all this is for him too, to a shop which specialise in selling all things and they supplied all these stuff to hotels too; so you see if they are too expensive then of course, it is off the budget then I will go down the road to another smaller shops where the things are cheaper but their range of things are smaller :(


               (a)  When I learnt this the dried prawns were added together with all the ingredients in "A" and
                      blended togetherI prefer to blend separately then split into two; put one portion
                      into the blended rempah and then fry the other portion in the hot oil.  My whole
                     kitchen smelt so lovely :)

               (b) The original recipe called for the prawns to be steamed.  I preferred to put them in the
                     gravy to be boiled so that all the sweetness will be in the laksa.

            Lastly if you are interested in the sambal belachan that I learn, here it is, you will see why I like it, shortly.

             Ingredients for Sambal Belacan

              10                Red Chillies, remove seeds
                4                Chilli Padi
                1                heaped tablesp Belacan [we were told no need to toast as
                                  all these will be cooked after pounding] but I toasted
                                  anyway as I feel more fragrant

                         Blend both the chillies and Belacan till fine.  Put them in a small pot; liquid and all, and cook till liquid vapourise about 3 minutes.  Then add in 1/2 Tabsp oil & cook for a further 2 - 3 minutes.  Add a little sugar if you want.

                         Serve with limau kasturi.

                    Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

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