Sunday, August 22, 2010

Laksa Johor

Laksa Johor

Ingredients for gravy

500g Mackerel tinned in Springwater or oil
*1 cm galangal( lengkuas )
*1cm ginger
*1cm turmeric
*3 cloves garlic
*2 onions
*1 tsp dried shrimp or 1 cm shrimp paste
*80g curry powder

1 can 500 ml coconut milk
½ cup tamarind juice
salt to taste
2 tbsp kerisik (grounded dry roasted coconut)
2 stalks lemon grass
4 tbsp cooking oil

1 packet cooked spaghetti (prepared as per instructions on pack)

Chili paste:
3 fresh chilies (deseeded) and chopped
1 cm toasted shrimp paste (belacan)
Blend both in food processer and add a pinch of salt.


1. Blend all * in your food processor
2. Heat oil and fry paste on medium heat for 5 minutes,
3. Add coconut milk & lemon grass and simmer on medium heat until oil forms on the surface (stirring occasionally)
4. Add 1 cup water if gravy is too thick.
5. Add kerisik, mix well and turn off heat.
6.Serve spaghetti and gravy, garnish with sliced cucumber, snake beans, bean sprouts,onions and a slice of lemon/lime with a dollop of chili paste( sambal belacan)

Laksa Johor is one of Malaysia's many dishes that originates from the southern state of Johor(hence the name). Its basically spaghetti topped with a creamy, curry based seafood gravy, garnished with fresh crunchy vegetables. Traditionally prepared from scratch with fresh mackerel, boiled to soften the flesh and blended. For busy mums like us, a tinned mackerel will do just fine and my family couldnt tell the difference either way.

This recipe is an updated/shortcut version and it didn't disappoint. It is rich in Omega 3(from the Mackerel) and plenty of fibre from the vegetables. If you would like to add Malaysian food to your forte, do get accustomed to preparing kerisik; commonly used in Malay traditional dishes - is coconut flakes, roasted on medium heat without oil in a pan until browned,then finely pounded in mortar and pestle or easily grounded in a coffee grinder.

Do give this a try. It is mild and tasty, but the heat can be turned up by adding more sambal belacan to your plate. Happy tasting!

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