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Your favourite Laksa ?

I am biased towards Lemak Laksa, however curry would also do fine.

The variety of Laska is SIN is phenomenal, and I'm sure by multiple factors more in Malaysia. However, it is here, in NYC that my craving is, and I cannot just hop in to a plane and head for SIN/KUL no :biggrin:

Pan ! Your favourite ?

anil

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By "curry laksa," I assume you mean the Singapore-style one with the coconut milk, but the only type of laksa I can get in New York is Penang-style asam laksa, so the only variations I experience are in quality, not in fundamental style. Perhaps I'll try some other type of laksa in Malaysia this August.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I made laksa lemak when I was a homesick student in London. This is a basic recipe from my "home economics" book, so is not very sophisticated. You might like to experiment with it.

You need

1. A rempah of ground chilli, onions and garlic. Proportions vary accrding to level of heat. .

2. A whole bunch of dried shrimps, washed, rinsed and also whizzed in a food processor till very very fine.

3. Coconut milk- if no fresh milk is available, a brand like Kara is just as good.

Fry the rempah till it is fragrant, then add the shrimps and fry some more. When the mixture is browned nicely, turn down the heat and add the coconut milk, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add water if soup is too thick. Salt to taste. Pour over rice noodles, garnish with chicken slices, prawns or fish cakes, and snip laksa leaves (daun kesom) over the whole dish ( if it is available). Enjoy.

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Bond Girl:

Restaurants in Manhattan and Queens where I've had asam laksa, at any rate, sometimes use curry leaves, with good effect.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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My favourite is Curry Laksa - a combination of yellow egg noodles and rice vermicelli with bean sprouts garnished fried tofu puffs (tau pok), poached chicken pieces/slices, sliced fish cake and boiled cockles smothered in a thick curry. There is also the sambal with a squeeze of kalamansi - it's great with the cockles!

I don't like Assam Laksa as much - usually add lots of prawn paste, mint, sliced onions and sliced preserved shallots as the soup is otherwise a bit too sour for me.

Laksa Lemak - the laksa lemak I know is somewhat different - a sort of combination of Curry Laksa (known as Curry Mee in Penang) and Penang Assam Laksa. Laksa Lemak has a fish-based gravy like Assam Laksa but has coconut milk added.

There are all sorts of variations to the basic Assam Laksa / Curry Mee in Malaysia. The ones I've tried are :

Laksa Johor - the gravy is fish-coconut milk-tamarind-based similar to that of Laksa Lemak - it's sometimes served with spaghetti

Laksa Kedah - tomato-based fish gravy

Laksam - the gravy is fish-coconut milk-based served with a thick flat rice-tapioca flour noodle

Laksa Sarawak - somewhat like a curry laksa minus the cocunut milk.

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A (hopefully helpful) tip for Bond Girl... If NYC has a Vietnamese population, then you should be able to find 'Laksa leaves' somewhere, as they're just Vietnamese mint. :smile:

-- lamington a.k.a. Duncan Markham

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - collaborative book reviews about all things food and wine

Syrup & Tang - candid commentary and flavourful fancies

"It's healthy. It's cake. It's chocolate cake."

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I definitely prefer the curry laksa..

There is a Where to get Laksa in a thread on the Australian board

You may also find Vietnamese mint being referred to as Vietnamese Coriander in some places.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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Is Vietnamese Coriander a common label for Viet.mint in the US? Curious.

I'm not sure about the US, but it's certainly used commonly in Australia.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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That's funny, cos I'm in Melbourne and the places I've bought it have never ever called it coriander! How strange...

-- lamington a.k.a. Duncan Markham

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - collaborative book reviews about all things food and wine

Syrup & Tang - candid commentary and flavourful fancies

"It's healthy. It's cake. It's chocolate cake."

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That's funny, cos I'm in Melbourne and the places I've bought it have never ever called it coriander! How strange...

We've bought plants from a couple of places in Sydney; a small place in Waverton and a big Garden Centre in St Ives, and in both places its been called Vietnamese Coriander; according to my vietnamese girlfriend it only us whities that call it that; any asian grocery will call it mint.

Edited by Niall (log)

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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More about laksa leaf...the Vietnamese name is rau ram. The latin name is polygonum oderatum or hydropiper (it gets labeled both ways). The malay name is duan kesom. Here in the US it gets labeled Vietnamese corriander a lot (very silly). You can usually find it in the fresh herb part of a South East Asian grocery.

regards,

trillium

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  • 5 months later...

In the severly SE Asian food-deprived town where I live there is one Vietnamese restaurant.

As luck would have it, the chef appears to have done some time in Singapore, since there are both

Singapore noodles and lakhsa (with chicken or seafood) on the menu. I guess the Lakhsa would be "curry" style

as described here -- it has a wonderful coconut milk gravy. The best part is the big dollop of really

dark, intense rempah stirred in to the top of it -- that just says Malay food to me.

Lakhsa seems to be one of those things that really varies a lot from restaurant to restaurant. I've had

it at a couple of Singapore/Malaysian places in the SF Bay Area -- that I generally love -- and just wasn't

that thrilled with theirs. I was surprised to find that I liked the Midwestern Vietnamese restaurant-style

version from here better. A few years ago we went to a really hard-core Malaysian place in the San Gabriel

valley near Los Angeles and had great lakhsa -- probably among the best.

- Roger

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Those "Singapore mei fun" are nowhere to be found in Singapore, from what I understand.

Nope, they're not...

Funny you should mention that, we just had a conversation about this sort of thing it at lunch, it was me and guys from Bejiing, Munich and Bombay. We came up with Singapore noodles, French Toast, French Fries, German chocolate cake, Bavarian cream, Bombay toast, Manchurian chicken and Chinese chicken salad.

regards,

trillium

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... French Toast, French Fries, German chocolate cake, ...

The French eat all kinds of things dipped in egg batter and fried. They obviously don't

call the basic bread version "French" toast. And they eat Pommes Frit (sp?) all the time.

It isn't "German" chocolate cake, it is "Germann's", or just "Germann", chocolate cake.

A guy in America named Germann came up with the kind of chocolate that was originally

used in it, and the cake was named after him.

Good luck finding "Canadian bacon" in Canada, though you'll find "back bacon" everywhere

there.

Any non-US types out there want to share the names used in other countries for common

US foods?

- Roger

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Ok, I should have been more specific in my examples, I got carried away. German cake isn't German and you won't find it in Germany. Manchurian chicken? All over India, not in Manchuria. Same with Singapore noodles. They don't exist in Singapore. You won't find them in Singapore under any name, unlike French Fries, Bombay toast, or Canadian bacon, which you can (sort of) find under a different nomenclature in their namesake country or city. I'm guessing Singapore noodles got their start in HK and travelled through cooks at Cantonese restaurants overseas. Not that they can't be good, just that they're not Singaporean.

regards,

trillium

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  • 6 months later...

As I am a Johor girl, I love Laksa Johor best. :smile:

Laksa Lemak - the laksa lemak I know is somewhat different - a sort of combination of Curry Laksa (known as Curry Mee in Penang) and Penang Assam Laksa. Laksa Lemak has a fish-based gravy like Assam Laksa but has coconut milk added.

Laksa Lemak - yes, and more. It is a Nyonya dish. My ex-neighbor from Melaka used to make great Laksa Lemak and will always send over a bowl for me. Maybe Arunaputri can share an authentic recipe. :wink:

Curry Mee (Mee Kari) in Johor is simply yellow noodles with curry BUT the curry has the addition of pounded dried shrimps as well as mashed potatoes (this is what thickens the curry). This is slightly different than Mee Rebus, which has mashed sweet potatoes as well as tauchu (fermented soya beans) and some grounded peanuts and no pounded dried shrimp but rather uses fresh pawns and stock from prawn shells.

Although both Curry Laksa and Curry Mee uses curry gravy as the base, the difference (as I know it) is that the Laksa is fish based while the Curry Mee is meat-based and Laksa will always have polygonum and/or mint and some pineaples, raw onions and cucumber as garnishes while Curry Mee will have curry leaves in the gravy and have taugeh, fried tofu as garnishes. But of course, everyone have their own personlized versions. :wink:

  Laksa Johor - the gravy is fish-coconut milk-tamarind-based similar to that of Laksa Lemak - it's sometimes served with spaghetti.

Correct in that the gravy is fish-coconut milk-tamarind based but the most important ingredient which makes Laksa Johor Laksa Johor is the addition of kerisik - grounded paste of toasted grated coconut. You can either make your own rempah or simply use curry powder. Another important spice in making Laksa Johor is the galangal.

It is traditionally served with 'wet rice noodles' but people would just use spaghetti. But nowadays you can get dried rice noodles in the suprmarkets which you reconstitute to make the wet rice noodles.

Laksa Lemak & Laksa Johor does not have shrimp paste (petis). I think only the 'assam' versions of Laksa will have the petis.

Just adding my 2sen. I am happy to see Malaysian food being appreciated (especially Malay food because people are more familiar with Chinese and Indian food)

Edited by kew (log)
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I tried making assam laksa with some friends the other day. But tried my best to look for hae kou (black shrimp paste)...I'm in Toronto right now, and don't really know where they sell it (or if they sell it at all). Assam laksa just doesnt taste the same without it. :sad: Was wondering if anyone knows how to get it here...

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I tried making assam laksa with some friends the other day. But tried my best to look for hae kou (black shrimp paste)...I'm in Toronto right now, and don't really know where they sell it (or if they sell it at all). Assam laksa just doesnt taste the same without it. :sad: Was wondering if anyone knows how to get it here...

We could possibly try sending it to you.

I've sent food items both factory sealed as well as homemade successfully. I've even sent fresh chilies to the US.

Perhaps the chances can be increased if it's re-packed it into a jar of Nutella. :biggrin: Or Marmite.

In Ottawa, the Vietnam stores sell this stuff (although that was aeons ago that I lived there).

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I'd be really surprised if you can't find hae koh in Toronto. There are huge Asian neighborhoods, right? Check out the SE Asian ones, like Vietnamese, they almost always have it. In a pinch, if you find rojak paste you can substitute that, it's got a lot of hae koh in it.

regards,

trillium

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