How to Make Laksam

No, it’s not a typo – Laksam is indeed a different dish to the (I would hope) universally-known Laksa. I could be totally off the mark but I think I read somewhere that the etymology of the word is “laksa” plus “asam”, in other words, sour laksa.

Having said that, the defining feature of Laksam is the use of steamed rice flour rolls instead of the usual array of noodles you would expect in a laksa. The soup is identical to the recipe for Laksa Kelantan which I featured just recently on another Twitch broadcast, but I’ll reshare it here.

My only encounter with Laksam was during my trip to Kelantan, the northernmost state on the Malaysian Peninsula, though a quick google search tells me it actually originated in neighbouring Terengganu, which I’ve yet to have the opportunity to visit. Clearly, I’m no expert on this dish, but I was spurred to give it a go because a Malay friend who is currently working as a surgeon here in Sydney messaged me for the recipe. So here’s attempt at it, and if you have any Southeast Asian dish you’d like me to feature, by all means let me know as well 🙂

Laksam Noodles

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups rice flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
  • 4 cups water
  • Oil for brushing
  • You’ll also need – steamer & steaming pan

METHOD:

  1. Combine flours with water and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Bring water to a boil in steamer.
  3. Line steamer lid with towel.
  4. Brush steaming pan with oil.
  5. Place pan in steamer and heat for about 10 seconds.
  6. Pour enough batter in pan to make a layer about 2-3mm thick.
  7. Cover and steam until air pockets form on surface of noodle sheet.
  8. Using a spatula, gently lift at one end and fold up into a roll about 1-inch wide.
  9. Repeat until all batter is used up.
  10. Cut into rolls about ¾-inch wide, place in bowl with fresh herbs and vegetables.
  11. Ladle soup over noodles and serve.

Salad ingredients

  • beansprouts
  • shredded cabbage
  • shredded cucumber
  • sliced chillies
  • laksa leaves (aka Vietnamese mint)
  • sliced bunga kantan (torch ginger flower)

Laksam Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1kg fish fillets
  • 500ml coconut cream
  • 500ml water
  • 1 brown onion, pureed
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
  • 3-5 pieces dried tamarind slices (substitute with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice)
  • ½ Tbsp chicken powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

METHOD:

  1. Steam or poach fish, then debone. Discard bones and transfer fish into food processor and mince. Combine with rest of the ingredients and simmer.
  2. Adjust seasonings to taste.

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