* Laksa Johor

Posted on September 6th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Entree, Fish, Kaffir lime leaves, Lemongrass, Malaysian, Noodles, Street Foods.


This recipe is adapted from a recipe from my friend, Tammy Kang, whom I used to work with in Kuala Lumpur.   We used to love seeking out all the best “makan” joints –  street foods being on top of our list.   Laksa is really the king of street foods.   Laksa Johor is my all-time favorite of the laksa family.  We use many different kinds of fragrant herbs like kaffir lime leaves and if you can get it, bunga kantan, a pink ginger flower bud, and of course, laksa leaves, or more commonly known in the US as Rau Ram.

Chef’s tip: Instead of using a ikan kurau masin (salted dried fish), I use the bacalhao salted cod which is more easily found here and offers just as much sweetness and umami flavors.

Ingredients:

Meat:
½ lb salted cod
½ teaspooon kosher salt
1 lb cod

Spice Paste:
10 dried Japanese chilies or 5 fresh red jalapeno
10 shallots
1 inch of ginger
1 inch of galangal
1 inch fresh tumeric
1 tablespoon roasted belachan
5 candlenuts
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoon dried shrimp, soaked
3 tablespoon toasted desiccated coconut

Broth:
¼ cup of canola oil for frying
3 cups coconut milk
3 pieces of lemongrass, bruised
5 stalks laksa leaves
3-4 cups fish or chicken broth
1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Toppings:
1 cup of shredded English cucumber
1 red jalapeno
½ red onion
1 cup of fresh pineapples
2 eggs
1 cup of mint leaves, whole
2 tablespoons laksa leaves, finely minced
1 Tablespoon ginger flower, finely minced

8 oz spaghetti, some salt and olive oil
1 lime, quartered

Preparing the salted cod:
1.    Soak the salt cod for a couple of hours.  Change the water if needed.
2.    Remove the bones and mince the fish fine. Soak the dried shrimp for at least an hour.
Preparing the fish:
3.    Salt the fish.  Steam the fish until opaque and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
4.    When cooled, remove bones and skin.  Coarsely flake the fish with a fork.
Preparing the spice paste:
5.    Grind together spice paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Set aside.
6.    Grind dried shrimp, salt cod, and toasted desiccated coconut into fine flakes.
Preparing the laksa soup base:
7.    Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat until just hot.  Stir in spice paste. Stir constantly, until the red oil separates from the spice paste about 8 to 10 minutes. Add fish mince.
8.    Lower the heat, slowly add coconut milk, lemon grass, tamarind slices, laksa leaves, chicken broth and bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly.  Simmer for at 20-30 minutes.  Salt to taste.  Remove tamarind, lemongrass and laksa leaves.  Add flaked fish.
Preparing the vegetables:
9.    Finely julienne cucumber and jalapeno. Slice the onion. Cut pineapples into small wedges.  Chiffonade the laksa leaves and ginger flower.
10.    Beat eggs with a pinch of salt.  Make thin omelets. Slice them into ¼ inch strips.
Preparing the noodles
11.    Bring a pot of water to boil.  Boil spaghetti till el dente.  Drain.
Assembly
12.    Place a serving of noodles, vegetables, herb, eggs in bowls and ladle laksa broth over.
13.    Serve with quartered limes and sambal.

Serve: 6

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