Friday, June 1, 2012

Nyonya Laksa

I have cooked this many months ago in Singapore but haven't posted it as I wasn't entirely happy with the end result, while it tasted pretty good, I felt it was a tad too spicy... and the paste could be a little finer.  But since I have been in Europe for last 1.5months and as all Singaporeans really craving for some Laksa... it looks amazing right now.  So here you go!

You can consider Laksa as the National dish of Singapore.  Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan culture, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay elements found in Malaysia and Singapore

Ingredients for Rempeh A (Chilli paste for the stock)

10 dried chilies (soaked in warm water for it to soften)
5 candle nuts (Buah Keras)
A thumb length of gelengal/wild ginger [Lengkuas]
1 whole garlic
15 pieces of shallots
2 lemon grass (Just the whites)
1 1/2 tablespoon of dried shrimp paste [Belacan]
A thumb length of fresh turmeric root
2 fresh chilli

Ingredients for Rich Laksa Gravy B

1 liter of coconut milk (equivalent to 2 coconut)
1.5 liters of chicken stock
5 sprigs of Laksa Leaves
Fresh shrimps
Shredded chicken
Beancurd puff (Tau Pok)


Noodles (Rounded Thick vermicilli)
Shredded chicken
Hard boiled eggs, halved
Bean sprout (Optional)
Chopped laksa leaves

How to make

Pan roast Belachan (dried shrimp paste) till fragrant and kinda crispy

Grind or pound ingredients A into a fine paste.  I prefer to use a pestle and mortar as I like my paste to have a little texture

This is a very crucial step.  Heat up wok and fry chilli paste with lemongrass on low fire till it darkens.  The paste has to be fried till fragrant otherwise the stock will not be nice.  The oil and the paste should seperate when it is ready.

 Add in Coconut milk and let it simmer for a while.  Add chicken stock and salt to taste.  Lastly add in the beancurd puffs.  Leave to boil for a while and switch off fire.

 In a bowl arrange noodles and condiments according to your preference.  Pour hot laksa gravy over and sprinkle with some laksa leaves.

Bon Appetit
Monica Eng

Egg Plant Rolls

Last weekend, Mary brought me to an exquisite Greek restaurant in Nicosia for lunch.  We ordered a couple of amazing appetizers for lunch.

Spinach Mille Feuille with cheese and walnut

Rocket Salad with mushrooms

Zuchinni stuffed with cheese

And my favouriate of the lot was Eggplant Roll

Eggplant is one of my absolute favourite "greens" to eat and after this amazing meal last weekend, all i could think about was eggplant rolls for many days.  I decided to attempt a Meaty version of this egg plant roll with whatever I can find in the fridge.

Ingredients  (Serves 2)

A handful of Mince pork
1 Eggplant
1 medium size onion Chopped
1 teaspoon tapenade
Tomato puree diluted with a little water to form a nice thick tomato sauce
1 teaspoon homemade chilli puree (blend of Chilli, lime, garlic, salt)
1 chopped Fresh tomatoes
Halloumi cheese
Grated feta (We ran out so I just used some random grated cheese in the fridge)
Chopped cilantro
A dash of oregano
A dash of salt to taste

How to make

Heat pan with olive oil and Heat Oven
Sauteed chopped onions with Tapenade and oregano till caramalized
Add in mince pork and stir fry till 3/4 cooked
Add in half of the chopped tomatoes
Add in tomato diluted puree.  Cook on low heat for 20mins and Add Cilantro and let it simmer.
Slice eggplant to about 1cm thickness

Drizzle baking pan with olive oil, Lay the eggplant on the baking pan,  drizzle more oil and sprinkle some seasalt.  Bake till it's soft but not too soft.  U have to be able to roll them

Fill eggplant with meat sauce, fresh tomatoes and sprinkle on some cheese.  Roll.

Lay out rolled eggplants in a baking tray, fill up pan with remaining sauce and a slice of halloumi cheese on top of each roll.  Bake for 10-15mins.

Serving suggestion

Bon Appetit
Monica Eng