Tuesday, April 27, 2010
"The Strange But Wonderful Food Of Kuching 2" Sarawak Laksa 砂拉越叻沙
I found out my blogger friend Mary from "Keep learning keep smiling" is hailed from Sarawak after my posting of tomato noodle last week. I promised her I would do a post on Sarawak laksa and here it is.
Sarawak laksa also known as Kuching laksa is the most popular breakfast dish in Kuching where I lived for a while, this is also a must try for any visitor to the East Malaysian state. It is rather different to the Malaysian/Singaporean laksa that most of us know so well as quite a few dried spices (cardamon, cloves, cumin and coriander etc) are used in the making of the paste* Sarawak laksa was virtually unheard of outside of Sarawak until Anthony Bourdain featured it in his Malaysian leg of "No reservations". The Sarawakians are an extremely bias bunch so when one mentions laksa, there can only be this version.
P.S The Sarawak laksa paste is produced by 2 families and the recipe is secretly guarded (also it is not easily available outside of Sarawak). I have been trying to unlock the secret since last year, I am at the last stage of doing so so soon everyone will be able to cook this wonderful dish anywhere anytime. Stay tuned!
Updated on 3/11/11 - The secret of Sarawak laksa paste is revealed please click here for the recipe.
for the laksa broth you'll need;
1 x 600 g of Sarawak laksa paste* or 500 g (2 cups) of homemade Sarawak laksa paste
1 free range chicken
1 kg of prawns
2 x 400 ml of coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
* unfortunately ready made paste is not easily available outside of Sarawak and there are no known recipes on the internet or any cookbooks. Read P.S above.
you'll also need;
rice vermicelli, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and drained*
bean sprouts, blanched for 5 seconds just before serving
young coriander leaves (coriander sprouts are actually used for this dish)
eggs, beaten and made into thin omelet, sliced
lime wedges to serve
cut chillies to serve
* cook vermicelli in boiling water for a minute and drain just before serving
Bring 4 L of water to a boil and add the whole chicken. Return to a boil then cover and turn it down to a simmer for 35 minutes, remove chicken and submerge in cold water. This is a great way of poaching a whole chicken, tender juicy flesh every time!
Cook prawns in the chicken stock.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle - remove skin and hand shred chicken into bite size pieces, discharge skin and keep bones for stock. Then peel prawns but keep the tails intact, keep shells for stock.
Return chicken bones and prawn shells together with the laksa paste to the chicken and prawns cooking water, simmer for an hour.
Strain broth and add coconut milk, season to taste.
Place rice vermicelli, blanched bean sprouts, chicken, prawns and omelet then ladle some broth over. Top with cut chillies and coriander leaves and serve with a wedge of lime.