Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nyonya Assam Laksa

Nyonya/Peranakan/Portuguese cuisine is about cooking with spices or fresh herbs. Sometimes can be a combination of both. For Curry Laksa (Nyonya Curry Laksa, Prawn Curry Laksa and Prawn Curry Mee), it is coconut milk whereas fish and dried tamarind pieces/assam keping for the fishy-tangy Assam Laksa and herbs as well. Some of the herbs are grown in my garden not because I save millions of dollars but for the trill, convenience and sheer satisfaction to use for cooking especially for dishes like this Nyonya laksa which I invented based on prior experience and having tasted numerous types of laksa.  

It is a brimming bowl of noodles soaked in a sour-aromatic broth, topped with pineapple, mint leaf, red chilli and onion and paired with otak-otak. 

  • Sardines can be replaced with mackerel or any other you feel will be appropriate.
  • Likewise, pick your choice of noodles.
  • Otak-otak/shrimp paste (the gummy black thick paste) is sort of a must but I think the taste will not be compromised without it. 
For the broth
12 medium size fresh sardines - cleaned and do not remove the head.
1 inch lengkuas/galangal - crushed/smashed
1 lemongrass/serai - crushed/smashed
1 inch fresh turmeric/kunyit - crushed/smashed
2-3 dried tamarind/assam keping
Salt for taste

To assemble (as needed)
Noodles - blanched to soften
Red onion - sliced
Fresh pineapple pieces
Red/birds eye chilies - sliced/chopped
Salad leaves - sliced
Mint Leaves
Otak-otak/shrimp paste
Add all the ingredients for the broth with 1 liter of water.
Simmer over low heat till fish becomes soft and tender.
Remove from heat and drain the broth.
Flake fish and discard bones and heads. 
Add fish in broth, season with salt and continue to simmer.
Assemble noodles in a bowl and top with onions, mint leaves, pineapples and chilies.
Pour broth over and serve with a scoop of otak-otak/shrimp paste.
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  1. Oh, I like this type of laksa! The different taste (sour, spicy) stimulates the taste buds and is just so enticing!

  2. Good to know that you are growing your own herbs. I have never had Portuguese cusine.

  3. Never heard of this recipe or dish but sounds interesting. Love the colorful clicks.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Something and very interesting Nava, thanks for sharing... love the colors....

  5. Oh my god, I can practically smell it. Otak otak is a must for me when diving into Assam Laksa, which are the best in the world!

  6. The bowl of soup looks super delicious . Yeah that's totally true abt growing the own herbs . It gives a self satisfaction ...

  7. The seafood noodle combo soup looks really delicious Nava. I wonder where do u have the time for work then bloggin then gardening. :))

  8. It surely is very satisfying to grow and prickly fresh herbs., :)
    Nice recipe
    Keep in touch,

  9. My mom also grow herbs and some veggies in her garden.. That is an interesting art..Recipe is new to me.. Thanks for sharing..

  10. I love . the more of the dark sauce made of shrimps the better

  11. I don't know which laksa to choose from. All of the ones you have posted are amazing and look delicious. I am with you on growing your own feels great to use them in your day to day cooking. Another beautiful dish Nava!

  12. Such a wonderful-looking dish...I can imagine how the taste will be!

  13. this dish is totally new to me..looks super delicious....very neat presentation with lovely colors...

  14. Laksa with a makeover, this looks delicious :D


  15. Very new recipe to me . I love all the clicks

  16. Looks wonderful, Nava. New to ur blog and following too :)

  17. wow, one of my favourite soup, especially in a cold rainy days...
    i love using giant grouper or red snapper head for making asam laksa, made me feeling younger due to it's high collagen content.....

  18. Hi Nava ,I love this assam laksa, very appetizing. Looking at yours, I think i need 2 big bowls. LOL

    Best regards.

  19. YUM! looks amazing. I've always wanted to try mint and curry together, seems like such a great combination. love your blog! I too have lifestyle, fashion, food blog- perhaps you'd enjoy exchanging follows?



  20. This sounds interesting to me. It looks so beautiful and yummy too!


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