Skip to main content

The Accidental Laksa


It was not my intention to make laksa at all, but somehow life has other plans.

While standing over the sink filling up my kettle for my morning tea, I heard the door opened. Hubby was out to market and just got back. I was thinking, "What should I make for breakfast? Maybe French Toast? Maybe ..."

*clang*

"Sh*t!"

*shuffle, shuffle*

Then I turned around and saw him walking into the kitchen with a plastic bag partially filled with black soy sauce. He broke the glass bottle and had the sticky dark soy sauce coating all the other stuff that were in the same bag. The dried shiitake mushrooms and dried shrimps were stained black. If I wasn't so angry with him for creating such a mess on the floor, I would have laughed at the sight of these black UFOs (Unidentified Floating Objects).

Anyway, the long story short, I had to think of a way to use up the no-longer-dried dried shrimps. And the very first idea that hit me was to make laksa. A quick dig into my fridge for the chilli paste and a phone call to my mom on where to find freshly grated coconut, I was all set to make laksa.

I can't claim that I made the laksa since the all-important chilli paste came from my mom. Though I did help her in the making of the chilli paste, I don't exactly know what goes into it and how much of each item. So I jokingly told her that she is just like the motto of those Chinese chefs teaching their apprentice - teach only 9 out of 10 steps.

While I haven't a recipe to share for this laksa (a situation which I intend to rectify ASAP), I have a few notes on making laksa:

1. Reliable coconut seller a must. Don't want to end up with a pot of gravy with a sourish tang. Especially in our hot weather, coconuts tend to go bad very quickly. And don't want to even consider those supermarket pre-packed coconut milk.

2. Laksa leaves (or Vietnamese coriander) is a must. You can't have laksa without it. By the way, I've dropped two stems of the laksa plant into water and they have started to root. Hope to have a pot of the plant going soon. *crossing my black fingers*

3. Cleaned bean sprouts is a must. Unless you have nothing better to occupy yourself for 30 minutes of your life.

4. Use "old" eggs. I have not read much into the science of boiling and peeling eggs, but I have seen somewhere that the key to have easy and nicely peeled hard boiled eggs is not to use eggs that are very fresh. In my haste to feed, I made hard boiled eggs with the tray I just bought from the supermarket and prayed that their supply chain is not really very efficient so that these eggs are "old". Then I thought myself weird to be praying that I had paid good money for "old" eggs.

5. Geylang Serai Market is the one-stop-shop for all the ingredients to make laksa. I'm sure it is the place to get ingredients for many of the other Malay or Nonya dishes. And no, you don't need to speak Malay. There are many Chinese shop vendors there.

In the meantime, I am going to do some homework on laksa recipes.

Post edit: Found a laksa recipe at Serious Eats. The slide show of the process of making the laksa is a must watch.

Comments

  1. Not easy, you are good! Can also use the dried shrimp to make chilli...? :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good idea! I didn't think of that. :o

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Main Course Salads: How To Make Ahead

I am still very into salad these days and probably will start to turn various shades of green soon at this rate we are chomping them down.

After making and eating quite a number of salads, I've came away with some notes on how to get a head start in making salads.

Size - Cut it down
I just came across an article from The Kitchn asking if there is a way to eat salad gracefully. I didn't think that there was much hope in that direction until I had the Wafu Salad from Tonkichi that made me realise that it is possible to eat salads gracefully - cut everything into bite-size.

Prep ahead
Although salads needs minimal cooking, it involves lots of knife-work. Slicing, dicing, chopping all take time. But as I've mentioned earlier, most ingredients of a salad can be prepared in advance, but not all. Cut avocados will turn black, apples brown, and so forth. So if you are considering these items for your salad, either wait until just before serving to dice them up or leave them out. Th…

Main Course Salads: Salade Nicoise

My motivation for looking into main course salad was born out of sheer laziness. I was looking for a one-dish meal (less plates) that requires minimal cooking (less pots/pans) and packs lots of veggies as well as being filling. No skimpy wimpy diet salads for this gal.

So if I have to put this into a checklist of evaluating a salad, it would probably look like this.



Salade Nicoise has all the ticks in the check-boxes. Everything in this salad can be made ahead of time. Right down to the proteins of eggs and fish (either canned tuna or leftover grilled salmon). Now, isn't this dish time friendly?



The dressing for Salade Nicoise is just a simple olive oil and acid mix (ratio is 1 : 1.5)with shallots and herbs thrown in together with Dijon mustard. The recipe for the vinaigrette I used came from The New Best Recipe which you will be able to find it on Simply Recipe. I haven't had many main course salads in restaurants, but from the very few that I had eaten, the dressings were …

Main Course Salads: Grilled Ribeye Steak Salad

I made this salad the other day.

The good news is that we love having steak and salad in one plate. It packs more fibre and colours than the usual steak and potatoes combo.

The bad news is that there is no recipe to share cos I just toss together the odds and ends I found in my fridge.

But ... I will not leave you out cold without a recipe. Actually, I had my inspiration of making a grilled steak salad from The Pioneer Woman's Big Steak Salad. Head over and drool at her photos.



I grilled 2 slabs of ribeye steaks seasoned with Cajun Seasoning and I could have eaten them hot off the grill while standing in the kitchen. The anticipation that built up while dicing them up for the salad was almost unbearable. I did snitch a bite though.

The salad was dressed with my usual dipping sauce for Vietnamese Rice-Paper Roll. This is my favourite sauce for something salty and spicy. However, do note the high salt content in the fish sauce. Dressings are usual the black sheep of an otherwise healthy …