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Recipe by Debbie Teoh.
1 clove garlic
3 stalks lemon grass
5 red chillies
5 dried chillies
1 litre water
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
1 tsp salt
700g wolf herring (ikan parang) or mackerel (ikan kembung), cleaned
100g tamarind pulp mixed with 1½ litres water
3 or 4 pieces tamarind peel
2 stalks daum kesum (laksa leaf)
2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tsp sugar
600g fresh laksa noodles, scalded
1 small cucumber, cut into julienne
1/2 pineapple, cut into julienne
2 large onions, sliced
1 torch ginger flower (bunga kantan), sliced
2 red chillies or bird’s eye chillies, sliced
150g mint leaves
6 tbsp hae ko (prawn paste) mixed with 80ml to 100ml hot water
Place all the spice paste ingredients into a food processor and blitz to a fine paste.
Place the water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add lemongrass and salt, then add in the fish and boil for 5 minutes, until fish is just cooked. Remove the fish from the liquid and allow to cool, then remove all the fish flesh from the bones. Set the fish flesh aside.
Strain fish stock into a clean pot; add the ground spice paste, tamarind juice and peel, daun kesum, salt and sugar. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, or until gravy is aromatic.
Just before serving, bring laksa gravy to a boil again and add half the reserved fish. Place a serving of noodles in a bowl, top with garnishings, then ladle the hot gravy over and top with more fish. Serve with the hae ko mixture on the side.