I recently hosted 30 of my husbands colleagues at our home for a housewarming-open house-dinner thing which was set and confirmed a week before the event. ONE WEEK to come with and shop for a dinner spread that's good for parties (without being party deep-fried-finger food), delicious and also most importantly manageable for me to cook by myself.
Coming from a family of master hostesses, I asked my mom and aunties for suggestions. My mom and her sisters pride themselves in hosting the best parties, with delicious home cooked food always. The result, among other great suggestions, is this Dry Laksa recipe that is SO EASY to make. I have to admit I was a little intimidated at first, laksa is after all so iconic in Singapore - but this recipe offers a cheat, a golden time(and life) saver that uses pre-made laksa paste instead of figuring that out yourself.
You can, of course create the paste by scratch, but nobody's got time for that - not especially when the rest of your menu consists of vegetarian Chinese fried rice, handmade vegetarian mushroom dumplings & chicken chives dumplings, and honey garlic baked wings.
Anyway, I hope you try this recipe! It was delicious right down to it's last bowl that was eaten at 5am :)
Recipe serves 4 people. 10 mins prep time, total cook time approximately 20 mins.
420g laksa noodles (I bought these from Fairprice)
8-10 shelled prawns
3 sliced fishcakes
1 packet mini taupok (I bought this from Fairprice)
1 tray quail eggs, boiled and peeled
1 cup bean sprouts
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup chopped laksa leaves
For the sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon finely grounded dried prawns
1/2 packet laksa paste (I bought this from Fairprice, but heard Woh Hup is much better!)
1. Scald laksa noodles and bean sprouts in boiling hot water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Make sure to separate the noodles, best using a chopstick so you don't break the noodles.
2. In a large frying pan, heat oil and fry garlic and onion until fragrant and golden brown.
3. Add 1 tablespoon ground dried prawns and dry until fragrant. UMAMI BOMB!!
4. Add in 1/2 packet laksa paste and 1/2 cup coconut milk and fry for 2-3 minutes until combined. Add in water little by little so the sauce is not too dry. Be careful not to add too much water, the idea is for the sauce to coat all of your noodles.
5. Add the prawns and fishcakes and fry until cooked. Add taupok and mix. Do not overcook the taupok or it will disappear into your sauce.
6. Increase heat and mix in the noodles and bean sprouts. Stir for 2-3 mins. Increasing the heat will allow for the sauce to stick to the noodles better.
7. Once sauce and noodles is well combined, turn off the heat and gently mix in the quail eggs and laksa leaves. Leave some laksa leaves for garnish before serving.
ALY'S COOKING TIPS
1. I multiplied the recipe x6 when cooking for my 30 guests. Feel free to do the same. Just remember to maintain the consistency of the sauce, it should be thick but spreadable - something like a loose satay sauce!
2. You can use normal hard boiled eggs as well but I love the idea of getting pockets of "mini eggs" between my bites. Warning - the peeling is killer, my husband got delegated this job and he was NOT happy haha!
3. Taste as you go. Because of the dried prawns, I did not have to use salt at all for this recipe.
4. To be safe, I actually divided the sauce by half in another bowl, and mixed in my noodles bit by bit. If the noodles are too saucy, it will be too heavy and "jelak". So I'd recommend mixing in the sauce bit by bit until you're happy with how much flavor there is!