Saturday, August 14, 2010

Laksa

My mom made laksa for dinner tonight. We don't get to eat this a lot because the main ingredient, spicy soup base, is hard to find. In addition, there seems to be many kinds of laksa and they taste very different. My mom is from Kuching so I guess this is what we had:
Sarawak laksa comes from the town of Kuching in the Malaysian state Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. It is actually very different from the curry laksa as the soup contains no curry at all. It has a base of Sambal belacan, sour tamarind, garlic, galangal, lemon grass and coconut milk, topped with omelette strips, chicken strips, prawns, fresh coriander and optionally lime. Ingredients such as bean sprouts, (sliced) fried tofu or other seafood are not traditional but are sometimes added.

My mom said that one of our relatives used to have a store that sold laksa soup base. You can choose your ingredients and they would stew it for you, along with some secret ingredients. This time, the spices came from my (2nd?) cousin Albert. He brought lots of bags, carefully sealed, back from Kuching earlier this year, and he shipped some to us (frozen) from his home in Fremont.


Laksa with rice noodles topped with shrimp, chicken strips, cucumber, and omelette strips. I forgot to take a photo at first so I had to make a second bowl (and eat it) to snap a picture.

The version we had does not have belacan... there's no way you can miss the smell. Even then my mom had to cook the soup base in an electric cooker in the back yard in order not to stink up the house. The soup base is also very spicy so she scooped out all the red spicy oil.


Mmm...

I'll have to visit Kuching someday to try out the authentic stuff.

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Photos taken with my new phone using an app called Vignette. It has a lot of effects that emulate older/instant camera pictures.

1 comment:

Paul said...

hmmmm Laksa! I love a good laksa, hope you can check out the Ultimate laksa Guide http://www.squidoo.com/ultimate_laksa_guide
add to it and keep it yum!
cheers