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Old 9th June 2011, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Laksa Lemak recipe

Laksa Lemak recipe

This recipe allows you to indulge your tastes for something spicy, creamy, soupy, smooth yet savoury all at the same time.

Helen Ong | The Star/ANN | Wed Jun 8 2011

OVER the past four years, I've had a ball writing for Sunday Metro under the column Helen Ong, Penang (here's one more go at my photobyline!).

It's been wonderful meeting new people and talking to the rich tapestry of folk who make up the chefs, restaurateurs and hawkers without whom the state would not have gained its international reputation for good food. I've learnt a lot delving into the history and background of many of our well-known and not so well-known eateries and the interesting, diverse personalities and characters behind them.

It's been my privilege to tell readers about some of the myriad hawker centres, kopitiam and restaurants we have here, so I hope the column has helped them to discover the many places there are to visit when they come up north.

Being a fussy eater - as family, friends and restaurateurs will vouch for - it would be unfair to impose my own tastes on others because, quite frankly, if I had just written about places which served food I personally liked, I would have run out of articles quite a while back! That's why whenever people refer to me as a food critic I am quick to correct them: I prefer to describe myself as a food writer.

Above all, I've thoroughly enjoyed chomping my way through the food served by Penang's eateries, and, cholesterol and increased waist measurement notwithstanding, it's been worth every fat cell.

This Laksa Lemak is a favourite recipe which allows me to indulge my tastes for something spicy, creamy, soupy, smooth yet savoury all at the same time. Being a lazy cook, I like recipes which can also be easily knocked up with whatever you have stored in the larder or freezer (I freeze a lot of stuff!).

Although it seems to require a lot of ingredients, improvisation is the key word: the asterisked items can be optional, although I recommend you only miss out two or three items if they are unavailable as the more the tastier. Remember: it is important to agak-agak, so adjust according to how spicy you like it. It can be eaten with dried or fresh noodles, spaghetti or even cooked rice.

Laksa Lemak


Rempah (Mixed Spice)

2 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 pips garlic, peeled*
½ inch fresh galangal*
¼ inch fresh turmeric or ½ teaspoon powdered*
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into ¼ inch rings*
1 bunga kantan (pink ginger bud), cut ito ¼ inch rings*
½ inch sq piece belacan*
5-10 large dried chillies, soaked in hot water then drained
5-10 fresh red chillies, cut into ½ inch rings*
1-2 tablespoons chilli powder* (this adds a bit of kick and a wonderful rich red colour)


½ cup cooking oil
1 small can pink salmon, tuna or sardine* and/or
A handful of hey bee (dried shrimps), soaked then pounded
Approx 1 ½ litres of hot water or stock
Fishballs, fishcake (sliced) and tauhu pok*
Approx 10 medium-sized fresh prawns*
3-5 stalks of daun kesom, washed*
½ can evaporated milk
1 small packet long-life santan (coconut milk) or ¼ kg fresh
One chicken or ikan bilis stock cube if only hot water is used
Salt and sugar to taste


Kaffir Lime leaves, finely julienned*
Fresh mint*
Thai basil*
Fresh sliced large onions*
Fresh bunga kantan, finely chopped*
Fresh cucumber, julienned*
Combine all rempah ingredients and blend to a smooth paste.


Heat oil in large saucepan then add rempah and fry over gentle heat until mixture "separates".

Add tinned fish and dried shrimp and continue frying for another 2-3 minutes.

Add hot water or stock, and bring to boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add fishballs, fishcake and tauhu pok and bring to boil for another 2-3 minutes.

Add evaporated milk and bring to boil. Switch off heat, then add the coconut milk. Stir in gently.

Season to taste.

Serve with any type of noodles and garnish.



"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth". - 1 John 3:18
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Old 9th June 2011, 02:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Laksa Lemak recipe

this looks delicious here,

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Old 7th March 2012, 12:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Laksa Lemak recipe

goshh, i'm drooling alr. but the recipe seems so hard ...

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