Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sarawak Laksa

Was sneezing non-stop this morning, well almost non-stop. Sneezing every few minutes to the extend that the guys were starting to get worried although they were laughing at it in the beginning. I mean, imagine your colleague go achoo, achoo, sniff sniff and stop for 5 minutes and then start to achoo achoo achoo and stop for another few minutes. Then of course, start all over again. By 9.30am, I know I am basically a goner. The brain felt as if it will swell out of the head, the nose are all blocked and I was actually wheezing through my mouth, feeling extremely tired!

In the end, by 10am, I was all packed and went off to 1U to take the taxi home. Once home, all that I can think of is my bed in a dark room and get lots of zzzz. But as usual, my body refused to let me do that. I think I only managed to doze off around noon and was aware of my surrounding by 3pm!

Groggy but feeling abit better, I stupidly decided to put the cover back on my sofa instead of giving myself a big lazy afternoon to rest. So, after the wrestling with the big bafoon sofa, sitting on the floor, I realised that I cannot even hold a cup! GEEZ! That just goes to tell you that I do not know my own limitations! *SIGH!*

After a rest, went online and start chatting with some of my ex-colleagues in Kuching. They will be having a long long holiday next week since their fab will be shutdown for a week. Luckily they can consider that as part of their four-day-a-month-force-leave. Didi was trying to decide what to do to fill up her time next week (although if it has been me, I would just stay at home and be lazy pig!hahaha!) We chatted and she suddenly decided she want to learn to make Sarawak laksa. Guess the idea came to her after she read my previous posting about cooking the laksa for first day of CNY for my colleagues and friends.

Anyway, I decided to just post the recipe here lar. Easier! Before I came back to KL from Kuching end of last year, I bought a 10 packets of Sarawak laksa. Gave all except 2 packets away to my colleagues. That and with the 2 packets remaining from when I came over to work in Apr last year should be enough to make alot of laksa. 1 packet can make about 3-5 bowl depending to how much water you added to it depending on your preference on how dilute or thick you want the gravy to be.

How to prepare the laksa? Simple.
1. Boil chicken breast in 2-3liter of water. To enhance the flavor, you might want to add the prawn head and shells and discard them later.
2. Remove the boiled chicken breast meat. Shread to strips once cooled.
3. Add one packet of the laksa paste to the chicken stock and boil at medium heat for an hour. Filter and remove the solids.
4. Add about 250~300ml concentrated coconut milk. Do not cook too long or it will curdle. Turn off the fire the moment the gravy starts to boil a little.
5. Add salt and chicken stock according to taste. Add a little scrimp paste (belacan).
6. Soften the bee hoon (rice vermicelli) by cooking it in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain the bee hoon. (I would advice to get those bee hoon that is slight bigger strand for better taste with the gravy)
7. You will also need cooked whole prawns, omelette cut into strips, blanched beansprout and chopped chinese parsley. (Chinese parsley is optional of course).

How to eat them?
1. Take some of the bee hoon and place in a bowl.
2. Garnish with chicken strips, omelette, beansprouts, prawn and chinese parsley.
3. Ladle the gravy over all the beehoon and garnish (must have enough gravy to cover everything!)
4. ENJOY!!!

The secret is all in the gravy. The more flavourful you can make the gravy, the better. I was told that the really good and traditional laksa gravy actually has pork bone cooked in the broth! But since I might have some Malay friends coming, I think I better keep it halal and just stick to chicken and prawn discards broth. And of course, the sambal (cooked dried scrimp paste) is the best condiment to accompany this dish!

p/s: Will update with photos when I cook the laksa on Monday :)