There are many Laksa varieties in Malaysia. Almost every States has their own version of laksa.
This laksa is a signature dish from Southern part of Malaysia, Johor.
I had my first taste of Laksa Johor when I was in Derby, UK. My friend and housemate, Azi, ... cooked us Laksa Johor. At that time.. many thousands kilometers away from home... we would make do with whatever ingredients that we can get to make a nice Laksa Johor. She taught me the arts of 'twirling' the spaghetti and to cut the cucumber and so forth.
I grew up with Asam Laksa, ...hence I find Laksa Johor fascinating .... the gravy is rich ... fishy, creamy (using coconut milk) ...and fresh herbs like basil ... creates a fresh and flavoursome taste ...
I have not had a home cooked Laksa Johor for quite a long time until last April... when I visited my former boss, who opens a restaurant in a suburban Kuala Lumpur....serving authentic Johorean cuisine....
So this is my version of Laksa Johor...
Blend onions, garlic, galangal, ginger, belacan and add 1/4 cup of water. Blend into a fine paste.
- 1 kg basa fillets
- 20 fresh prawns (clean ~ without shell and tail)
- 2 tablespoon belacan
- 3 tablespoon sambal
- 2 red onions - chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic - chopped
- 3 stalk of lemongrass - chopped
- 3 cm ginger - chopped
- 3 cm galangal - chopped
- 5 tablespoon fish curry powder
- 6 pcs asam keping or tamarind slices
- salt and sugar to taste
- 400 ml thick coconut milk
- 1.5 liter of water.
- 5 tablespoon of oil
Bring to boil 1.5 liter of water. Add in the fillets and prawns and cook for 5-8 minutes. Drain the stock into another pot. Blend the fillets and prawns. Set aside.
Heat oil in a stockpot or deep pot over medium fire. Fry the grounded spices, curry powder until fragrant and oil separates. Add the blended fish and prawns. Give a good stir for 5 minutes. Then add in fish stock and tamarind slices. Bring to boil and leave it to simmer for 15 minutes.
Lastly add coconut milk. Lower the fire and season with salt and sugar.
Preparing the Laksa and its condiment:
- 400g spaghetti - cooked as per packet instruction
- 1 red onion - thinly sliced
- raw beansprout
- finely shredded cucumber
- thinly sliced chillies
- fresh herbs like Thai basil and mint
- long beans or snake beans - thinly sliced