My dad is a government servant and because of that we’ve moving a lot my whole life. We’re literally have been transferring to almost every southern states of Malaysian Peninsular. One of the states that we’ve once lived was Johor; it is the southernmost part of Malaysian Peninsular. We’ve been living there for 9-10 years and I have a lot (I meant A LOT) of fun mixing and adjusting myself with my fellow Johorean friends. Johorean cuisine is well-known for it’s adaptability towards various kinds of influences (mainly Javanese, Bajau and lot more) as huge number of Johoreans are descendants of these ethnic groups. Mixed blend of spices and vibrant ingredients made Johorean food stood up on it’s own class. One of my most favorite and highly celebrated Johorean cuisines is Laksa Johor.
Laksa Johor is basically a noodle dish which apparent enough to be totally different from other kind of laksa found across Malaysia because of the use of spaghetti instead of thick starchy rice noodle that is staple in most of other laksas. It is basically a unique Malay version of the Italian classic spaghetti. The sauce is rich, spicy and it often been served with fresh veggies and sambal belacan as a prominent and common condiment. This recipe has been handed down to me by my beloved aunt (she was our very close neighbor when we lived in Muar) and I couldn’t had enough ever since!
- 2 packets of spaghetti (2 paket spaghetti)
- 300g of Indian Mackerel (300g ikan kembung)
- 1kg of Wolf Herring (1kg ikan parang) –>this is best grilled, but it’s just fine to use the fresh ones
- 2 liters of coconut milk (2 liter santan)
- 100g of dried Mullet fish, pounded into paste (100g ikan kurau kering, ditumbuk halus)
- 1-2 small packets of curry powder (1-2 paket kecil serbuk kasi)
- 4 tablespoons of cumin powder (4 sudu besar serbuk jintan putih)
- 4 tablespoons of coriander seed powder (4 sudu besar serbuk biji ketumbar)
- 1 cup of toasted, desiccated coconut flesh (secawan kerisik)
- I cup of Tamarind juice (secawan jus asam jawa)
- 15 laksa leaves/ Vietnamese mint, finely chop (15 helai daun laksa/ daun kesum dipotong halus)
- 2 gingertorches, finely chop (2 tangkai bunga kantan)
- Salt and sugar for seasonings (garam dan gula secukup rasa)
Spice blends (Laksa paste)
- 3cm of galangal (3cm lengkuas)
- 2cm of fresh ginger (2cm halia muda)
- 8 lemongrass, sliced (8 batang serai diracik)
- 5 cloves of garlic (5 ulas bawang putih)
- 1/2 cup of dried shrimps, soaked in cold water and strained (1/2 cawan udang kering direndam serta ditos)
- 3cm of fresh tumeric root (3cm kunyit hidup)
- 30 dried chilies, boiled and remove the seeds (30 cili kering direbus dan dibuang cili)
- 2 teaspoons of roasted shrimp paste (2 sudu kecil belacan bakar)
- 25 shallots (25 biji bawang merah)
- Throw in your fishes (indian mackerel and wolf herring) into your pot and pour in enough water to immerse the fishes. Put the pot into medium heat and let it boils for 20-30 minutes. When the fishes are flaky and yummy, remove from heat and remove the fishes, BUT don’t throw away the fish stock, save it for later use.
- Flake out all of those beautifully boiled fishes and set them aside.
- You can start blending your spices. Put in all of the spice blends into your food processor with a cup of fish stock that you’ve made earlier. Blend them all together to form a fine paste.
- Now you can start firing up your pot with generous dashes of cooking oil. When the oil is hot enough, pour in your laksa paste into the pot and fry till fragrant .
- After that, add in the flaked fishes, coconut milk, dried mullet fish and and the remaining of the fish stock. Let it simmers for a while and after that add in the curry, cumin and coriander seed powder, laksa leaves, gingertorch, kerisik and tamarind juice into the pot. Salt and sugar to taste. Bring it down to simmer for 20 minutes until the gravy thickens and yummy and delicious and out of the world.
- Cook your spaghetti and pour your laksa gravy on top of your spaghetti and VOILA! Laksa johor is served!!
Laksa Johor is often been served with fresh veggies for example cucumber, long beans and bean sprouts together with sambal belacan. It is heavenly beautiful dish, and you should get cookin’! Try one, you’ll be mesmerized!