Discover Curry Mee Laksa – Malaysia’s Finest

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Curry Mee Laksa

Nyonya, Mains, Malaysian

5.0 from 1 vote

Today we are looking at one of my all time favorite Hawker dishes, the Curry Mee Laksa! I love this dish! The spice, creamy coconut broth, the tender shrimp, tofu puffs filled with spicy goodness, fish ball slices and topped with boiled egg and sambal! Hungry yet? You will be!

Across Malaysia, and neighboring countries, the laksa is adored. There are literally hundreds of variations being served at roadside hawker stands, in homes and in the finest of restaurants. I think it is because of its versatility that the Curry Mee Laksa is so loved. You can add almost anything that you wish to the broth and it will taste divine.

Curry Mee Laksa And Its Regional Variations

Curry Mee Laksa is a dish that varies from region to region in Malaysia, with each area adding its own unique twist to the recipe. Here are some of the most popular regional variations.

1. Assam Laksa from Penang

One of the most well-known of the regional variations is the Penang Laksa. Penang, an island off the northwest coast of Malaysia, is famous for its street food. And rightfully so, the Penang Laksa is undoubtedly one of its culinary gems. This particular variation is known as Assam Laksa and is characterized by its tangy and sour taste thanks to the generous use of tamarind and torch ginger flower.

The broth is made by boiling mackerel or herring, as well as other ingredients such as lemongrass, galangal, and chili paste. And gone are the fine strands of vermicelli noodle. Penang opts for thick rice noodles, which are soft yet chewy, providing a delightful texture to the dish.

assam laksa
Penang or Assam Laksa

2. Sarawak Laksa

Another regional variation is the Sarawak Laksa, which hails from the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. This Laksa is known for its creamy and aromatic broth, made from a combination of spices, herbs, and ingredients such as lemongrass, galangal, and coconut milk. The dish is typically garnished with shredded chicken, prawns, bean sprouts, and a sprinkle of coriander. The Sarawak Laksa is a harmonious blend of flavors, with hints of sweetness from the coconut milk and a subtle spiciness from chili, turmeric and galangal.

3. Kuala Lumpur Curry Mee Laksa

In Kuala Lumpur, the Curry Mee Laksa takes on a spicier and more robust flavor profile. The broth is made from a combination of dried chili paste, belachan (a fermented shrimp paste), and various spices. It is then simmered with coconut milk to create a creamy and fragrant base. This version is often served with a mix of yellow egg noodles and vermicelli, along with bean sprouts, tofu puffs, and cockles. The Kuala Lumpur Curry Mee Laksa is known for its fiery kick and is a must-try for spice lovers.

In addition to these regional variations, there are also countless other versions of Curry Mee Laksa found throughout Malaysia. In each state, town and neighborhood you will find a laksa being prepared with its own unique twist. Some variations include seafood like squid or cockles, while others incorporate additional vegetables or spices.

Despite the differences and the good natured regional rivalry, one thing remains constant – the love and passion for Curry Mee Laksa in Malaysia. It is a dish that brings people together, whether it’s enjoying a bowl at a hawker stall with friends or gathering with family for a special occasion. The rich history and diverse flavors of Curry Mee Laksa make it a dish that continues to be cherished and celebrated throughout Malaysia and beyond.

If you have not yet had the chance to try this iconic Malaysian dish, be prepared for a culinary adventure that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

curry laksa
Variations of Kuala Lumpur Curry Laksa

4. Johor Laksa

There are also other lesser-known versions of Curry Mee Laksa found in different parts of Malaysia. In the state of Johor, the Curry Mee Laksa broth resembles the Penang version using the wolf herring as a base to the broth, with a side of sambal belachan, a spicy shrimp paste. But that is where the similarity ends. You’ll find no vermicelli or egg noodles in this dish. The Johor version becomes a true fusion dish as you will find Italian spaghetti is soaking in the traditional Malay laksa broth. 

5. Kedah Laksa

In the northern state of Kedah, the version of laksa is similar in many ways to assam laksa from Penang. It is made with fish and sour tamarind paste, and uses the same thick egg noodles and toppings. The key difference lies in the mackerel, or sardine, that’s used to make the broth. It is also often garnished with fresh herbs like mint and coriander, which add a refreshing element to the flavor profile.

Curry Mee Laksa – The Main Ingredients!

Each region puts its own spin on the dish by using flavors and ingredients local to them! Over time this has created a diverse culinary landscape that showcases the rich and vibrant flavors of Malaysia. The Curry Mee Laksa is a dish that utilizes many ingredients, resulting in a complex and flavorful taste. Here are some of the key ingredients used in this Malaysian delight:

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a crucial component of Curry Mee Laksa, as it adds a rich and creamy texture to the broth. It also helps to balance out the spiciness of the dish and enhances the overall flavor. In Malaysia the coconut milk used is typically made by grating fresh coconut meat and squeezing out the creamy liquid. This fresh coconut milk is wonderful but don’t panic, if you like me will be opening a can! The canned version provides the same authentic and flavorful dish.

sarawak laksa
The Famous Sarawak Laksa

Common Spices

Various spices are used to create the aromatic broth of Curry Laksa. Common spices include lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, and a sambal paste made from grinding dried and fresh chili. These spices give the dish its signature taste and fragrance. Lemongrass adds a citrusy and refreshing note, while galangal contributes a slightly peppery and ginger-like flavor. Turmeric not only imparts a vibrant yellow color to the broth but also adds a warm and earthy taste. And the sambal chili paste adds a fiery kick to the dish.

Your Choice Of Noodles

There are many different types of noodles used in Curry Mee Laksa. For the dish we are cooking today we use both the yellow egg noodles, and vermicelli. However if you are a fan of the thicker rice noodle they can also be used. The egg noodles soak up the flavorful broth and because they have wheat flour in them, they provide a very satisfying chewy texture. Vermicelli are rice noodles. They are thin and delicate, providing a contrast to the heartier ingredients in the dish. They have an almost spongy, almost slippery texture, which is delicious. Plus the layers of fine consistency bind together to bring you plenty of the spicy broth.

Your Choice Of Protein

Protein is an essential component of Curry Mee Laksa. It can include ingredients such as prawns, chicken, cockles, fish balls and tofu puffs. These proteins add depth and variety to the dish, making it a hearty and filling meal. Prawns, with their sweet and succulent flesh, are a popular choice and are often cooked in the broth. Chicken, either in the form of sliced meat or shredded, adds a savory element to the dish. Cockles, are a small shellfish with a slightly briny taste, and provide a unique and distinct flavor. And the tofu puffs, which have already been deep-fried, absorb the flavors of the broth and add a soft and spongy texture.

The Garnishes That Top The Dish

Garnishes play a crucial role in enhancing the overall presentation and taste of Curry Mee Laksa. Common garnishes include bean sprouts, fresh herbs like cilantro and mint, sliced red chilies or sambal, boiled egg halves and a squeeze of lime juice. These garnishes add freshness and bursts of flavors. Bean sprouts provide a crunchy texture, while cilantro or polygonum leaves contribute a refreshing and aromatic element. Sambal adds heat and a pop of color, while the egg offers its creamy coconut saturated yolk. A squeeze of lime juice just before serving adds the final note to this symphony with its tangy citrusy note that balances the richness of the broth. So now let’s cook!

nyonya laksa
Nyonya Laksa – Fusion Stemming From The Baba Nyonya

The Malacca Nyonya Laksa – Curry Mee Laksa Recipe

This recipe is a fusion of the Kuala Lumpur dish and the famous Nyonya Laksa, created in Malacca by the Baba Nyonya. The term Nyonya means “married foreign women.” Today they are famous for their culinary skills and creative fusion dishes. And for those interested, Baba is the male equivalent. As a group they are referred to as Peranakan Chinese.

The term “Peranakan” means “descendant locally born” in Bahasa Melayu. It refers to the immigrants, and now their descendants, who came from mainland China to the Malay Peninsula between the 14th and 19th centuries. The Baba Nyonyas are concentrated mainly in the Straits Settlements of Melaka, Penang, and Singapore.

The major difference found in Nyonya Laksa is a complex paste base. This paste includes

  • Dried red chilies
  • Fresh red chilies
  • Belachan
  • Lemongrass
  • Galangal
  • Fresh turmeric
  • Candle nut
  • Laksana leaves

It is then complemented with coconut milk being added to the broth, along with a variety of ingredients, including: Chicken, prawns, tofu, two types of noodles, fish cakes, bean sprouts, polygonum leaves, shrimp, and egg. Any laksa with a rich, and strongly spiced, coconut gravy is typically described in Malaysia and Singapore as Laksa Lemak or Nyonya Laksa

Curry Mee Laksa, The Malacca Nyonya Laksa – A Favorite Flavor Of Asia

5.0 from 1 vote
Course: MainCuisine: MalaysianDifficulty: Intermediate
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

25

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Calories

761

kcal
Total time

45

minutes

An iconic Malaysian dish and found absolutely everywhere this spicy noodle soup is one of my personal favorites and always transports me back to the hawkers. No matter how many times you eat this dish, every stall holder will tell you her or his) Laksa is the best….and they always are. This version is well known for it’s lavish amounts of coconut milk, spices and prawn!

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Ingredients

  • For Assembly
  • 4 cups 640 g Cooked Egg Noodles

  • 2 cups 470 g Soaked Vermicelli

  • 2 cups 200 g Beansprouts

  • 1 1 Cucumber (Sliced)

  • 18 ounces 500 g Prawns (Cooked and Shelled)

  • 3 3 Fishcakes (Boiled and Sliced or 8 cubed fish cake balls)

  • 6 6 hardboiled Eggs (Halved)

  • 1 bunch 1 bunch Polygonum Leaves, (see notes)

  • For the Sambal
  • 10 10 Red Chili (Fresh)

  • 10 10 dried Chili (Soaked in water)

  • 2 tsp 2 tsp Belacan

  • 1 tsp 1 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp Palm Sugar

  • 6 tbsp 6 tbsp Cooking Oil

  • For the Spice Paste
  • 10 10 shallots (peeled and slice)

  • 4 inch 4 inch fresh turmeric (sliced)

  • 4 tsp 4 tsp galangal (grated)

  • 8 8 stalks lemongrass

  • 20 20 dried chili (soaked until softened)

  • 2 ounces 50 g candlenuts

  • 4 tsp 4 tsp belachan (shrimp paste)

  • For The Laksa Broth
  • 1/4 cup 50 ml cooking oil

  • 4 cups 946.35 ml chicken stock

  • 2 cups 473.18 ml coconut milk

  • 20 pieces 20 pieces tofu puffs (see notes)

  • 2 tsp 2 salt (or to taste)

Directions

  • Prepare the Sambal. Soak the dried chilies in water for 10-15 minutes. Add the soaked chilies. fresh chilies and belachan (shrimp paste) to an electric blender and blend until you have a very fine and smooth paste. You can use a pestle and mortar but let’s be honest, the blender works faster and saves much effort!mince the chili
  • Cook the Sambal. In a small frypan or saucepan heat the oil. Once hot sauté the chili paste until it becomes very fragrant, ensuring you stir continuously. This only take a minute or 2. Add salt and sugar to taste. Then set the sambal aside to be served with the finished laksa.cooking the sambal
  • Prepare The Spice Paste. Heat a saucepan on a medium/high heat and dry fry the belachan for 30 – 60 seconds. Remove from heat. Roughly chop the shallots, turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, dried chiles and add to a blender. Also add to the blender your candlenuts and the fried belachan. Blend until you have a smooth paste. You should have enough water from the soaked chili, but if needed you can add a little water to help the paste blend well.blend the spices
  • Prepare the Laksa broth. In a wok, or large heavy bottomed saucepan, heat 1/2 cup cooking oil. Once hot add the freshly blended spice paste and sauté until fragrant. Add the stock and bring to a boil.fry the laksa paste
  • Scald The Tofu Puffs. While your broth comes to a boil scald your tofu puffs. Add them to a bowl and pour freshly boiled water making sure you cover them. This freshens the tofu and removes any residue oil from when they were fried. After soaking for a minute drain the tofu. Add the tofu puffs and coconut milk to your broth. Add the salt to suit your taste. Bring back to a quick boil, stirring continuously. Turn off the heat once the coconut laksa broth comes to a boil.add tofu puffs and coconut milk
  • To Assemble. Blanch the egg noodles and vermicelli in freshly boiled water, soak for 1-2 minutes and drain. Serve by adding some of each noodle type into a bowl. garnish with bean sprouts and cucumber slices. Ladle hot laksa broth over the noodles making sure each dish gets some of the tofu puffs. Then top the bowls with prawns, fish cake slices and halved eggs. Plus the “daun kesum,” if using. noodles
  • Serve by adding a big dollop of sambal to the bowls (or place the sambal on the table and let people add their own). The sambal will melt into the hot broth! Delicious! Enjoy! curry laksa

Equipment

  • ceramic laksa bowls set of 48 Inch Ceramic Laksa Bowls – Set of 4Buy Now!
  • ninja bl770 mega kitchen systemNinja BL770 Mega Kitchen SystemBuy Now!
  • stainless steel all clad stock potStainless Steel All Clad Stock Pot and LidBuy Now!

Notes

  • 1. Candlenuts will be available at Most Asian grocery stores. If you can’t find candlenuts you can replace with Macadamia nuts.
  • 2. Tofu puffs are light and spongy fried tofu balls. They are delicious because they soak up the broth of the laksa. They need to be scalded in hot water briefly before adding to the laksa as it will to remove any excess oil. Usually easily found in the refrigerated section of Chinese or Asian grocery stores.
  • 3. Polygonum is also known as laksa leaf, Vietnamese coriander, Daun Kesum or Cambodian Mint; it’s an aromatic herb used in laksa. It is available in some Asian grocery stores but if you can’t find it, don’t stress! You can leave it out.

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1g
  • Total number of serves: 6
  • Calories: 761kcal

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discover curry mee laksa - malaysia\'s finest

Tags:

baba nyonya / hawker / hawker style / Malay / noodles / sambal / spicy / vermicelli

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