OK, here comes my Dry Laksa post. Not for those who swear that laksa is all about the gravy. One big plus about this dry version is easy portability to bring to a friend's place. Got a big tick from the kids on this one. It's less oily, less salty but still comes with a kick.
Special thanks to my friend Lina who dislikes wet laksa and her mom had to create this dish just for her, and I got to learn it from them!
For those who are unfamiliar with this dish, it is an authentically traditional street food in Singapore, and what better time to post this than on Singapore's 47th birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday, my beloved Singapore.
We fooled around with the plating, trying to elevate the status of the humble laksa but alas, it has to stay where it belongs, in a good old traditional Chinese bowl.
For those already familiar with this dish, the ingredients are exactly the same as the traditional version. The only difference is you don't add as much water.
All ingredients easily accessible from a one-stop shop in the wet market if you live in Singapore. For those who don't live in Asia, these are common Chinese cuisine ingredients and you should be able to get them from Chinatown.
1 kg thick Vermicelli
2-3 Tbsp Dried Prawns (hay-bee), chopped into small pieces
1 packet Laksa Paste (choose those without MSG or preservatives)
A bunch of Laksa Leaves, plus 2 tsp of finely chopped ones for garnishing
1 Tbsp Sugar
200ml fresh Coconut Milk (or one small packet of Kara)Long Fishcakes, julienned
6 large or 8 small dried, fried Beancurd (taupok)
200g medium sized Prawns, deshelled and sliced in horizontal halves or
1 Chicken Breast, poached and shredded
1. Boil pot of water, add vermicelli and cook till soft, about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large pan under medium to high heat, add 2 Tbsp oil and stir fry dried prawns till fragrant and not wet.
3. Reduce heat and pour laksa paste and laksa leaves in. Stir fry occasionally till fragrant and oil is released from the paste. Add sugar. Be careful not to burn the paste. Add coconut milk and put back to medium heat.
4. Add all other ingredients - beancurd, beansprout, fishcake, except the prawns, and stir fry with the paste. When well incorporated, add prawns. Turn off heat when prawns turn red and are cooked.
5. Remove from heat, and in a mixing bowl, mix well with boiled vermicelli. There is no need to stir fry the noodles, and you do not need to add salt - this I like. Garnish with chopped laksa leaves.