Do it yourself…

My favourite Sarawak laksa in town is this one here and there are few others around that I quite like but if I am not wrong, the most popular one in town is this one here though I’m not all that crazy about it. The one here

MC

…used to be the best in town but for some reason or other, its popularity has been on the decline.

During those days when people were dropping by here by the droves, the guy at the stall was not very friendly, not in the least, to put in mildly and it was for that very reason that I did not bother to go there and eat. I, for one, strongly believe that no matter how good you may be, you should treat people with respect…at all times, never mind who they may be and if you do not have the simple decency to be nice to people, I can jolly well do without what you have to offer, regardless how nice it may be.

I parked my car at the far end of the block and even from all the way there, I could smell the laksa already. Wow!!! It must be really good, I thought to myself. Well, if you’re wondering why I went back there, it was because somebody said that the Sarawak laksa here would not be as rich as those elsewhere, meaning that it would not be so lemak with a lot of santan (coconut milk) added and thus, that would make it more authentic, more like the ones found in Kuching…and since Melissa said that she wanted that for brunch, there we were…

MC laksa stall

…that day to give it another try. I ordered the special and he told me quite rudely that there wasn’t anymore. Good grief!!! It certainly is true that a leopard cannot change its spots. He could have used a more pleasant tone than that. Tsk! Tsk! I quickly ordered the small for the three of us and took my seat…for fear of another round of shelling.

It certainly looked like he still had his fair share of the laksa business as there were quite a number of people around – not as many as before but there certainly were a fair number of customers. Soon, the our orders arrived (RM4.00)…

MC laksa 1

…and without further ado, we dived in!

Was it any good? For one thing, it was extremely salty…

MC laksa 2

…and long after we had left the place, I could still feel the lingering msg taste in my mouth. Even the nice sambal belacan (dried fermented prawn paste chili dip) that came with it…

MC laksa - sambal belacan

…could not save the day and if you’re guessing that I would not be heading back there again, you are absolutely right.

Now, after that somewhat disappointing outing, I thought I would just do it myself and cook my own as I still had the two packets of laksa paste that my friend, Philip, in the US, gave me when he came back home earlier this year. I’ve tried the Hj Manan’s laksa paste before and I did not think it was really great though my cousin in Kuching loved it a lot…so I decided to try the other one instead …

Laksa paste

Of course, I had to go to the market in the morning to buy the prawns, peel and de-vein them and I saved the heads and the shells to boil and keep the stock. I also boiled the prawns, tails still intact, and drained…

Prawns, boiled

…and used the water for stock.

I emptied the whole packet of laksa paste into the stock and brought it to boil…

Laksa broth

…before adding the santan (coconut milk) and some belacan and a cube of ikan bilis (dried anchovies) stock to boost up the taste a little bit.

It was a Friday so I did not buy any chicken and I bought some made-in-Singapore fish cakes instead…

FC & TFP

…and sliced them thinly. Usually, you would not find tofu pok (fried bean curd) in Sarawak laksa, unlike the curry mee in the peninsula, but Melissa loves those so I had to buy some and sliced the cubes thinly as well.

Melissa helped fry some omelette and cut that into fine strips…

Egg

…and I blanched some taugeh (bean sprouts) and chopped some daun sup (Chinese celery)…

TG & DS

…and of course, we had to get ready the bihun, soaked in hot water to soften and drained…

Bihun

To serve, all that one would have to do is to put the bihun in a bowl, add all the condiments and pour the soup or broth over all of that…

Laksa 1

…and eat. Of course, there simply MUST be some sambal belacan to go with this so my missus pounded some of that much coveted stuff.

So, was it any good?

Laksa 2

I’m afraid that I would have to say that though it tasted very nice, somehow it lacked the nice fragrance and taste of the authentic Sarawak or Kuching laksa plus it was not spicy at all.

Of course, we enjoyed the fruit of our labour that day but no prize for guessing whether or not I would be buying this particular brand of laksa paste again…

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21 thoughts on “Do it yourself…

  1. I love laksa too but I cannot eat because I am allergic and sensitive to coconut milk, I will go to the toilet after eating laksa

    Never eat on an empty stomach. Used to happen to me – I’d go and eat in the early morning and go to the toilet all day…all for the sake of looking nice and slim. No effect on me now, can eat anything anytime.

  2. Wooo! I wanna try the best in town recommended by locals! Bring me there next time if i happen to drop by Sibu ya :D

    When are you coming? You should see Constance Ann’s face when she came to town and took her first spoonful…and all the expressions of pleasure. I took her to my favourite in town, not the popular one. Maybe she went and ate that with her friend as well. She loves laksa so much!

  3. oh, very delicious.. of course i mean the one you cooked it yourself, so much more ingredients and looked way more appetizing and enticing too~~ awesome!!! :)

    Come on over! We can have a laksa party and more, lots more! ;)

  4. My mum used to cook chicken with laksa paste. Yummy.

    This one, there’s that hoo-hoo (powdery) taste. It says no need to sieve but I think there is some residue. Would rather buy the ones where I would have to sieve for a nice clear broth.

  5. Oh, my forever favourite. I used to cook it and can have a few rounds. Actually a lot work involved when one is preparing. Yours looks great.

    Not really a lot of work but this sambal not like real laksa fragrance, disappointed. :(

  6. Ohhh….it certainly looks delicious! With much condiments.
    I usually buy the laksa paste (helang brand) if I’m not mistaken. ;-)
    I don’t understand why can’t people be a lil friendly. We do pay for our food wan leh.

    Precisely. I would rather not eat – don’t understand how people can tolerate this kind of nonsense. Ya, there used to be a better brand but I think the best we have now is the Helang brand – lots of birds, have to be careful when buying, they all look so similar.

  7. Too much work for me, I will go and get a bowl outside and eat puas-puas.. Lazy me! :)

    There is a lot of fun to be derived in the preparation actually…and at a laksa party, a lot of fun also, putting your own bowl together and adding the broth and sitting down to enjoy. That fun part you cannot get when eating outside.

  8. Sarawak laksa…still loving the one I tasted in Kuching than the KL ones. Somehow something is missing. Kuching water perhaps?

    The sambal paste used. Mine, this one…not great either. Will not use this brand ever again.

  9. If there is ever a brand that can satisfy you, do let me know. Would love to have some laksa here :)

    See my reply to an earlier comment. The “HELANG” brand seems to be the best around – but be careful of the other birds – labels all look the same. I’ve never tried though…but one can smell from outside the packet despite it being tightly sealed.

  10. Wah can smell the laksa from far? So ‘geng’ meh? :p

    Never judge by appearance…nor smell! See my verdict when I’ve tasted it. The true test of the pudding is in the eating!

  11. It’s a shame that the man at the restaurant has such a foul attitude. I never understood folks like that. Don’t they know they’d receive more business if they simply treated others kindly?

    Well even if your version wasn’t as you hoped, I imaging the time spent prepping with your daughter was a fun. Occasionally, I run into the same issue also the food might taste good, but at times it misses the mark.

    See my reply to an earlier comment – part of the fun is in the preparing and the cooking, not only the eating…but I guess it depends on whether you enjoy cooking or not. If you do, it will not feel like a chore.

    Ya, he’s not alone. There are others around like him so I will just stop going. I do not know why many can put up with such nonsense and some even have to queue under the hot sun just to eat…and given the most unfriendly treatment in the end. Nothing can be that good!

  12. Aiya, I should have sarawak laksa for breakfast this morning, now looking at it at this hour make me hungry!!!

    Your laksa so many ingredients!! Home cooked sure taste the best.

    Yes, and usually nicer…so one helping’s not enough. Now, I’d stop at 2, used to be more more. :D

  13. I would probably enjoy the laksa as I have not tasted the real deal as yet. Have you tried making the laksa paste yourself? I’ve seen the recipe and it was such a long list so I gave up before I even started :)

    No, thank you. I can just go out to the corner shop to buy but this time around, I did not as I still had these two packets sitting in the house.

  14. What a rude fella…perhaps knows that his laksa is good and arrogant about it!

    Your homemade laksa has so many ingredients. Looks good.

    Not all that great, and mine’s a lot nicer – nothing for him to be so arrogant about.

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