Home for the weekend…

I guess it is going to be like this every week from now on – Sunday, we will send Melissa to her school in Selangau and come Friday, we would wait for her to come home for the weekend. All week, I would be cooking stuff and packing it all in containers for her to take along with her when she goes back so she would only need to cook the rice and heat up the food to eat – no need to go through all that hassle of cooking and I would say that it is definitely not easy to cook for one person. Other than that, I would be thinking of what I would be able to cook for her to eat when she comes home – something really special that she would look forward to.

Well, last Friday, I decided to cook some Sarawak laksa as my ex-student cum lawyer friend, Louis, managed to get me a packet of this very special sambal laksa (laksa paste) from here

Absolute Tribal laksa paste

I was there for dinner but I did not know at that point in time that they were selling this there and I only discovered it when the young and handsome proprietor cum manager, Gerald, posted a photo of it on Facebook…and since Louis was in Kuching at the time, I asked him to help me get a packet to try.

I had these udang galah/tua thow hay (freshwater prawns) in the freezer so I decided to use those for a change…

Udang galah

Normally, we would just use the seawater pek hay (white prawns), shelled and de-veined.

I had to prepare them first though – I had to remove the long legs and cut off the tip of the head to remove the blueish gray sac inside. If you do not do so, this would give the prawns an unpleasant bitter taste. I also cut the shell all along the back and removed the vein  – this would also serve to make it easier to remove the shell of the prawn when eating. Having done that, I boiled them in a  pot of water…

Boiled

…and then, I took them out and put them aside.

In the meantime, I emptied the laksa paste into the stock and after stirring it well, I put the pot back on the fire and brought it to boil…

Ready to boil

I also added a handful of ikan bilis (anchovies) to it for some added flavour and sweetness. I remember seeing a laksa stall in town where they bought all the unwanted ikan bilis heads cheap to boil and use as stock.

While it was simmering, I went about to do the other things that I needed to do including opening the packet of mihun and pouring hot water over it to soften it…

Mihun

Once soft enough, I drained away all the water and put the mihun aside for use later.

I also pounded some chilies and belacan (dried prawn paste) together…

Sambal belacan

…and got some calamansi lime to squeeze over the sambal belacan to eat with the laksa.

I bought some taugeh (bean sprouts) – RM2 of it, tails removed so I would not have to go through the chore of doing that. I poured some hot water onto it and drained it quickly…

Taugeh

…and put it aside for the time being as well.

I fried some omelette and cut it into very thin strips…

Egg

…to be used for garnishing and I also got some fish cakes as well (RM2 for a packet of two – I got two packets of those). Normally, I would get some chicken (breast) and boil and use the stock for the laksa gravy and then I would tear the meat into very thin shreds to be eaten with the laksa but since we do not usually eat meat on Friday, I decided to do without it this time around.

The lady selling the fish cake insisted that there would not be any unpleasant smell that one may find sometimes in fish balls and such but I was pretty sure I could smell something. In the end, I decided to boil the fish cakes and then I lightly fried the pieces in a pan after which, I cut them into very thin slices…

Fish cake

I tried a bit and true enough, there was no smell so I reckoned there and then that they would be suitable for use. The fact that they did not expand when boiling showed that there was more fish and not a whole lot of flour in them which would be an indication that they were pretty good fish cakes then.

In the meantime, I sieved the laksa gravy/broth to remove the unwanted stuff…

Tapis

Actually, my pot was too small so what I did was, I put what I had collected back into the pot and added some water and boiled again – twice…till I had enough broth for 6-8 bowls of Sarawak laksa. Then I added a can of santan (coconut milk) – of course, it would be a lot nicer if you could squeeze your own but I was too lazy to bother doing that.

By the time everything was done, the whole house was filled with the laksa fragrance from top to bottom – I tried a bit of the broth and found that it was very nice, and it was salty enough so I did not have to add anything else. I don’t know exactly whether there was salt in the paste or whether that was because of the handful of ikan bilis that I had thrown in to boil.

To serve, you put the mihun in a bowl and all the condiments on top and then you pour the laksa broth all over them…or you can add the condiments after you have poured the broth over the mihun in the bowl. I invited Louis over for lunch but perhaps he was shy as he only had a bowl…

STP's laksa 1

I think my missus had two not-very-big helpings while I had two bowls myself…and when Melissa got home, she also had two helpings…

STP's laksa 2

There was a bit left over so we finished it all up for dinner.

Was it good? I suppose the photos speak for themselves – I would not need to say more…

STP's laksa 3

…but I did think that with the sambal belacan that I had pounded and a little squeeze of the calamansi lime, it really tasted great – pat…pat on my back!!! Hehehehehehehe!!!!!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

39 thoughts on “Home for the weekend…”

  1. wah… looks so good. And, wait, that’s sarawak laksa right?

    That’s what I’d call it…but Kuching people would insist on stamping their sole ownership and calling it Kuching laksa.

  2. well that looks pretty good and i loved all the
    ingredients used so definitely it’s a great dish to have

    It is good, great in its own right – just as tom yam is good too in its own way…or curry mee, for that matter. Any such noodle dish that is the Philippines’ specialty?

  3. that’s a nice routine, having your daughter happy and home every weekend. and gosh, if i were her, if i knew there was that incredible bowl of prawn-packed goodness waiting for me when i return, i wouldn’t be able to wait to come back! 😀

    Well, at least, the weekends would be something to look forward to… Hmmm…I wonder what I would cook this weekend.

  4. Wah you’re such a devoted parent! I remembered when I was in ns, daddy mami would come every weekend with two packs ( one for my friend) of drumstick (and porkie) rice! I was so sick of Malay food so a Chinese chap fan is heavenly XD

    My ex-homie (from Sibu) was here the weekend and she bought me two packets of sarawak laksa paste!!! And my another ex-homie from Kuching cooked Sarawak laksa for us!!! They know I heart Sarawak laksa muchy! I felt so loved 😀

    It seems easy to cook, might find a day to cook it!

    It is definitely easy – only thing is the sambal paste must be good. Not really that much work since I bought the tailess taugeh…and I did not have to shell and de-vein those smaller seawater prawns.

  5. So this is Sarawak Laksa, Looks so tempting at this hour. Arthur, that bowl is too small to fit in those Laksa with those condiments. Should take a bigger one. hehehe

    This is bigger than the bowls they use at the stalls outside. For one thing, when cooking laksa at home, part of the fun is putting it altogether and pouring the laksa gravy over everything and eating – such joy!!! So if you have one big bowl, you can only get the pleasure once… 😦

  6. No need to go and eat Sarawak laksa in any shops when I come and visit you again. You can cook for me as yours look much much better and drool worthy than what I had before * sapu air liur*.. Hehehe. The laksa paste better than the Swallow brand?

    Can’t remember “swallow” anymore – other than the fact that it was good. Did you buy any home to NZ – I think you bought at Ta Kiong, right? Was it Swallow or Helang…or Parrot? Cooked already?

    This one’s good too but the price is very nice as well.

    Aiyor…if stuck in the house cooking for you, where got time to take you here and there? But come, come….maybe this trip, you stay longer and I will fit in sometime to cook nice stuff for you to eat instead of going out all the time…or I can get the missus to take you all shopping and I’ll stay in to cook. See, I’m so nice. When are you coming?

  7. I’m on my way to work. Saw this post in your Facebook and clicked. Wrong move. I’m craving for it now!

    Hahahahahaha!!!! Happy working! Berkhidmat untuk negara!!! 😀

  8. OOH! 1 bowl delivery please :P, never had Sarawak Laksa before… quite similar to how we cook Penang Prawn Mee (we will fry the prawn shells first and simmer to cook a broth, along with some bones), it seems like as long as i can get a packet of those paste, i should be able to cook it here 😛

    They have Sarawak laksa in Penang, same as how they have Kuching kolo mee all over. Whether they’re any good or not, I wouldn’t know – never tried…but I can say that even here, there are so many stalls, you need to know which one to go to. Some are really not worth the calories.

  9. Wow! Wow! Worth all the effort. The laksa looks so fabulous. I think I can easily polish off two bowls too. So, it looks like you are doing a lot of cooking for Melissa and we’ll get to see more home cooked food 🙂

    Hopefully, but of course, if they’re my usual dishes, I would not bother to blog about them.

  10. What a loving daddy. Most parents would do that especially with the only child in tbe family. As for the laksa paste, salt is already added it. Normally I add ikan bilis stock to it. This is the 3rd generation laksa paste. My nephew is picking up the skills under the watchful eyes of my brother.

    Ya, you would do the same, I know. All the things you cook everytime your children come home. Pua kin, pek nio (half kati = 8 tahil) Ahhhh!!!! No wonder when I tasted it, it was already salty enough. Hmmmm…buy through you, can get discount or not. RM16 is a bit steep really!

    P.S.
    Btw, have you heard that my favourite kolo mee shop got burnt down? Philip, Philip in the US!!! It’s gone! Oriental Park is gone! Burnt to the ground!!!
    https://suituapui.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/time-stood-still/

  11. wow, THREE shots of the noodles before ending the post.. all seemed to be the same but look closer, they are not!! the first one was your missus’s, the second yours, and the third Melissa’s??

    Mine, all mine!!!! Muahahahahahaha!!!! 😀

  12. Yup, read it from the newspaper. I was thinking of it too. So my guess is correct. Any of your relatives or friends from Kuching going back to Sibu for voting. Can send laksa paste to you if you want.

    Not that I know of. All of them Kuching nang already… 😦

  13. My saliva is drooling from Singapore to Sibu liao, kakaka…..

    So have you planned your trip yet?

    1. If go, how many days will be enough?

      People here for two nights say that was too short, minimum 3-4 at least, I think.

  14. Your laksa makes me feel hungry…next time don’t lupa invite me to try your laksa ya…(joking :))

    Sure! Sure! Wait till the next time I get hold of some more of the sambal laksa. 😉

  15. Sedapnya!! See also drooool… is the laksa something like you sent over last time? I remember Elin doing it with prawns and chicken… something like curry laksa we call it over here..
    So what did you cook for Melissa to take back to school? 🙂

    Yes, that was what I sent to Elin…but no, it’s not the same as curry mee or curry laksa. It has its own special taste.

  16. It looks great, and the big head prawns is giving the laksa an extra boost.

    Yes, extra nice…but with seawater prawns, also nice. Can have more then as they’re comparatively cheaper.

  17. What a great daddy you are Arthur! Preparing all those food for her, I m sure Melissa must love you lots…

    the laksa looks really lavish with those prawns… and with all those effort, I am sure it taste fabulous…especially that awesome looking sambal!

    Yes, the sambal’s absolutely perfect – 1st grade belacan from Bintulu, very very nice.

  18. The prawn, the fish cake, the egg make me salivating. Nothing can compare to a home cooked food with love.

    Yes, the most important ingredients – add lots of love and anything will taste great!

  19. I ate laksa yesterday but Penang laksa la. 😛

    A world of difference…and as long as it is not the Air Itam one, I’ll be fine with it.

    Eyewwwww!!!!! By the roadside, on the pavement (I wonder where they get their water supply from)…sitting on shaky metallic tables and stools that seem about to give way at any moment…and when I see what the people are eating and the water flowing in the drain beside them, suddenly I would have no more appetite anymore. And they say that’s the best in Penang – so crowded, so popular…no, thank you! It’s a wonder that the government/bandaraya authorities allow such businesses to go on – ours here, no way and I sokong 100%!!! Should never put up with such nonsense, really.

  20. Order 1 bowl please. How much ar?
    I’ve bought before the Sarawak Laksa paste back home….it taste quite good also.

    The Swallow brand used to be the best – not too sure which one is good now. The Helang (eagle) seems very popular – I see a lot in the shops. I bought one that was awful – Parrot maybe… That’s why I have not cooked for a long time…except when I get special laksa paste from people and would like to give it a try.

    This one, money cannot buy one. You tell me when you come to Sibu, stay here a day or two and I can cook specially for you. What for stay in Sarikei so long…nothing there! Hehehehehehe!!!!!

    1. Aiyahh….ppl want go back see mother ma…. :-p

      Can drive to Sibu morning, go back after lunch…or come afternoon, go back night…so easy, got bridge now…and shortcut via Bintangor side.

      1. I told him oledi. Saying on Sept..once arrived Sibu..I wan to visit my cikgu fwen 1st…den later in the afternoon only we travel bek Sarikei by bus. 😉

        What by bus? I can send you in my car, no problem at all…so near!!! Come, come!

  21. mmmmmm so delicious looking…..yumz…

    LOL…now you are like Claire…looking forward to weekend.

    The difference is she does not do any cooking… Hehehehehe!!!!!

  22. Slurp!! I am hungry now. I know it sure taste very good with so many ingredient in it. *tummy growling* Actually i don’t mind just had the meehoon and the omelette, i don’t really fancy with lots ingredient, but of course the taste must be there. hahahha

    How come that mee hoon look like mee suah to me.

    I use the thin version of the mihun. Melissa is like you, mihun with the laksa gravy and lots of egg – not too keen on everything else.

  23. Ooooo your Sarawak laksa sure looks great! I love meehoon in laksa too. And I’m feeeling sooooo hungry now!

    You can get it in KL, most well-known would be Auntie Christina at Bangsar.

  24. This definitely looks good! I want to be Melissa oso, get your homecooked frozen food weekdays and freshly cooked ones on weekends! 😀

    Nice, eh? Working mah…where got so free like retired dad and mum?

  25. I swear and admit that your Laksa preparation photos made my saliva dripped!!! I love Sarawak laksa very much for its own very unique taste. So heavenly dei.

    Again, you are such a great father to prepare dishes to make cooking easy for your daughter!!! I like and respect this papa!!!

    Of course lah! Only child, only daughter…so very precious, must shower with tender loving care. Well, if it wasn’t nice, you would not see Melissa taking two bowls. She’s fussy about food – will not eat anything and everything, not like the father.

  26. Wow Arthur! I really like this post! The laksa looks amazing… I would say I would have this to the last drop compared to your latest post on Foo Chow Mee Sua!

    I really need to go for my lunch now after seeing the photos! 😀

    Hah!!! You must see first who cooked this… Hehehehehehe!!!!! LOL!!! 😀

  27. It’s so nice that you cook for your daughter, sending her a bit of love (in the form of meals) while she’s away. I’m sure she appreciates what you do, since she doesn’t have to do too much meal preparation after her workday is over.

    The food is so colorful! I love seeing color in food. It’s also nice that you took snapshots throughout your meal preparation. It gives your readers a virtual tour of what goes into your meal preparation. I take plenty of pictures of what I make, but rarely post them on my personal site. I used to do that all the time on my old site. Perhaps, I’ll get back into doing that again.

    Every picture tells a story, so they say. I think it is easier to have the pictorial guide – as compared to reading lengthy descriptions. Yes, Malaysian cuisine is generally very colourful…and very tasty too! 😉

  28. Wow, your home cooked Sarawak Laksa with the super big prawn looks really tasty! Do you use the whole packet of paste to cook the broth everytime?

    Yes…so we’ll have one whole cauldron of the broth and each will have two (or in my case, three) bowls in one sitting…lunch and repeat performance, for dinner. Makan puas-puas, to make it worth all that trouble to cook. Satisfaction to the max. 😀

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s