Tuesday, 20 April 2010
M’sia home cooking – Kuching laksa
The first time I had Kuching Laksa was when I was a kid, and my parents had brought back some laksa paste from Sarawak (courtesy of some friends who had brought it back as a souvenir). It took many tries to finally achieve that slightly sour, lemak taste made famous by this particular region in Malaysia (instructions on the packet = not so good).
These days, we’ve got it down to a T, and it’s one of my favourite noodle dishes.
Obviously, the secret to making a good Kuching Laksa is the soup paste itself. Buy the correct brand, and you’re half way there. Next, you have to use good quality ingredients to top the noodles with. Mushy prawns won’t do it. You have to have fresh, crunchy, big prawns to make the dish good.
We also use shredded chicken (bones used in the soup) and fish cake pieces for the noodles. Other ingredients could be served along side the bowl of noodles, such as foo chuk but putting too much into the bowl of noodles would just overcrowd it.
Most importantly, the chilli dip accompanying the noodles must be fresh and slightly tangy with a twist of lime juice to freshen it up. Each spoonful of noodle topped with just a tiny bit of chilli makes for a wonderful taste sensation.
Despite being such a great alternative to the curry laksa or assam laksa, it’s not that commonly found in West Malaysia. There are, of course, a few stalls selling this but you would have thought that by now, something as tasty as this would have at least made it into each coffeeshop.