Russel Wong is a Singapore born Hollywood celebrity photographer, and this Katong Laksa recipe is from his mum. His mum was born and bred in Katong, and was well known for her Nyonya Laksa. Her Nyonya Laksa is so good that even a certain Hollywood star craves for it whenever she is here.
I have kept this recipe for the longest time but have never attempted to cook it because I was daunted by the long frying time of rempah and its overpowering smell. I took about 35 minutes to fry, and this I did when nobody was home.
What is Laksa without hum(cockles)? My plan was to cook the laksa first and buy the garnishes later.When the laksa was cooked, I couldn't wait to have a bowl and I have only fried beancurd(taupok) with me.
This laksa is so good and delicious, very much like Katong Laksa that I don't need other garnishes.
serves 10 small bowls
2 thumb size pieces of fresh tumeric, peeled
10 slices of galangal
25 pieces dried red chilies, soaked in water to soften
2 tablespon of belachan
6 stalks of lemongrass
1 tbsp ground coriander
Salt to taste
60g(80g) of dried prawn, soaked in waer(1-2 cups) for 30 minutes and then ground fine.
250ml cooking oil (100ml)
Coconut Milk - 1 fresh coconut(2kg), First squeeze without water for thick coconut milk. Add 3 litres(2.5) water for the second squeeze.(thin milk)
1 kg fresh thick rice vermicelli,blanched
10 pieces of fried beancurd
a small bunch of daun kesom, reserved some for garnishing(finely chopped)
- Grind all the ingredients for the rempah first. Heat up wok with about oil and fry ground rempah fro about 1.2 hour to 45 minutes in low fire.Remove from heat and cool.
- Add the ground dried prawns and keep frying. Add the last bit of water that was used to the prawns. Use about 1 to 2 cups. Add in the rempah.
- As you are frying, add a tablespoon at a time, the thick coconut milk, until 1/2 of that quantity is used. Add 4 stalks of Daun Kesom and keep stirring.Slowly add in the thin coconut milk and keep stirring to make sure that no lumps form. Let this soup boil (while stirring continuously) for about 30 minutes and add salt to taste.
- The final step is to add the remaining thick coconut milk to thicken the soup. Do this on medium heat for a few minutes and then switch off fire. Do not cover pot.
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