How To Cook Sarawak Laksa in 45 Minutes
The way my husband feels about Laksa is same way I have for Pho. I can eat it 3 meals a day 7 days a week. Now, if you put a good Laksa in front of me, I will probably have it every alternative day without any complaints. So what makes a good Laksa one may asks ?
For me, it's all about the broth and the noddles which makes Sarawak Laksa a winner. Those who are from Sarawak know what I'm talking about. Those who don't, please do not be confused with the curry based Laksa you can easily get at any Asian food court. They are a popular version from West Malaysia (naming Kuala Lumpur). The latter uses heavy coconut curry broth and fat yellow noodles, while Sarawak Laksa has a distinctive crimson broth from sambal belacan (prawn paste) and white bee hoon.
A proper Laksa will probably take 3 - 4 hours or longer depending if you want to make the soup paste from scratch. We simply don't have that kind of time in our house hold, especially juggling between house chores and a new baby. But that's not going to stop us from enjoying our favourite Laksa. Below is our quick intervention on the Sarawak Laksa. This recipe is enough to serve 4 very hungry persons.
SARAWAK LAKSA RECIPE
- 200 gr chicken breast
- 200 gr king prawns, de-shelled
- 1 litre chicken stock broth
- 1 litre cold water
- 1 packet of Sambal Laksa paste
- 1 packet of Kari Laksa paste (we normally use Tien's Gourmet brand)
- 500 gr bee hoon (skinny rice vermicelli)
- 200 ml of coconut milk
- 3 large eggs
- 500 gr beansprouts
- 1 bunch of coriander and 1 lemon for garnish
- chicken stock powder, salt and soy sauce for seasoning
1. Have 1 medium and 2 small pots ready. Pour chicken stock broth in the medium pot and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, boil chicken breast and king prawns in separate small pots with cold water. Once they are cooked, scoop them out and set aside to cool. DO NOT throw away the boiled water. Add it back into the medium pot to enhance the broth flavour.
2. Add a whole packet of Sambal Laksa and 1/3 of Kari Laksa to the broth and let it shimmer (Kari Laksa paste meant to strengthen the broth without overpower the Sambal taste).
3. Beat eggs and season with a dash of soy sauce. Heat the oil in a separate pan and add the egg. Cook each side until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Cut into thin long strips once it cools.
4. Over medium heat, boil bee hoon for 2 minutes or until cooked to packet's instructions. Remove and set aside. Also remember to shred the chicken breast into long strips.
5. Strain the stock from Step 2 through a sieve into another pot to get rid of any paste residue and bring it back to boil. Then add coconut milk and stir thoroughly. Add salt or chicken stock powder to your taste. Bring down the heat and it's ready to be serve.
6. To assemble, place bee hoon in a bowl, top with shredded chicken, prawns, omelette and beansprouts. This then go into the microwave on high heat for 30 seconds so everything is hot and ready for the broth to be pour over (also because if you hate the taste of raw beansprouts like I do). Garnish with lots of chopped corriander and just before eating, squeeze lemon on top for a sour kick.
I hope you will enjoy this "express version" of Sarawak Laksa and don't sweat too much while eating it !!