RECIPE: An authentic Peranakan laksa recipe

 

Sunny Goh, executive chef of Spices Cafe, Concorde Hotel Singapore

Serves 5 

INGREDIENTS

For the rempah paste:

2 stalks lemongrass

 40 slices galangal

12 candlenuts

15 dried red chillies

25 shallots

1 small piece belacan, lightly toasted

2 tbsp sambal belacan 

1 tbsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp coriander powder

 

For the chilli oil:

300ml oil

20 dried chillies

400g fish cake, thinly sliced 

600g medium prawns, shells removed

900g fresh thick vermicelli

600g bean sprouts 

150g dried shrimp

1 litre thick coconut milk

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp salt

 

20 stalks laksa leaves, stalks removed

 

DIRECTIONS

1 Pound or blend all the ingredients for the rempah until well combined. Set aside.

2 To make the chilli oil, heat the oil in a hot wok, add the chillies and stir-fry for 10min or until the oil separates from the chillies. Discard them, leaving the chilli oil in the wok. 

3 Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the fish cake and prawns. Drain, remove from the heat and set aside. Throw away the water. 

4 Refill the pot with water and bring it to the boil. Blanch the vermicelli and bean sprouts, then drain. Divide into 5 bowls. Top with the prawns and fish cake. 

5 Reheat the chilli oil in the wok, add the rempah and fry until fragrant. Sprinkle some water over the rempah and lower the heat. 

6 Add the dried shrimp and fry for 2min. Then add the coconut milk and bring it to the boil, stirring constantly. Mix in the sugar and salt. 

7 Ladle the laksa gravy over the vermicelli and garnish with laksa leaves.