Know your Laksa: Katong Laksa is a spicy soup-based thick vermicelli noodle dish. The gravy is mainly made with coconut milk and a lot of dried shrimps with many other ingredients, such as belachan, dried red chilies, galangal and coriander seeds added to it. The most obvious difference between the regular Singapore Laksa and Katong Laksa is that the former requires chopsticks to fish up the noodles while Katong Laksa only requires a spoon to scoop up all the cut noodles and other ingredients like the blood cockles, prawns and fishcakes. Here is a list of renditions of Katong Laksa that we have found from various recipe blogs:
My Mom’s Nonya Laksa
” If you use cheap ass ingredients or skip a step, it won’t be right. If you live somewhere with no fresh coconut milk, you MUST move out to another town that has it! Lastly, if you pass this recipe around I will kill you. ” -TheWongList
This recipe requires fresh turmeric, galangal, dried red chilies, candlenuts, belachan, shallots (small onion), lemongrass, coriander, salt and dried prawn for the spice paste; bean sprouts, fresh rice vermicelli, tiger prawns, cucumber, daun kesom, bean thread, ground red chili and fish cake for the garnishing; and fresh grated coconut and water for the coconut milk. Read full recipe and instructions of My Mom’s Nonya Laksa Recipe here.
Singapore Katong Laksa
“Laksa leaves HAVE to be fresh. Drying or freezing it will make it lose the amazing aroma. If you cannot find this, forget about making this recipe. Try asking around in a Vietnamese or Malay grocery store. Strangely, Indonesians and Thais do not use it at all. Lastly, if you cannot find fresh ’thick rice noodles’ (sometimes sold to non-Singaporeans as ‘rice spaghetti’) called ’tsor beehoon’ 粗米粉 , you can replace it with normal spaghetti. The look and size of the noodles are the same, but the taste, texture and slurpy index are definitely less satisfactory.” -CarryItLikeHarry
This recipe requires dried red chillies, dried shrimp, shallots, Thai red chillies, garlic, turmeric, galangal, ginger, fresh lemongrass (white portion), candlenuts, dried coriander seeds, belachan, peanut oil for the spice paste; chicken or prawn stock, water, fresh coconut milk, salt, sugar, laksa leaves, taupok for the soup; prawns, bean sprouts, fresh thick beehoon, fried fish cake, laksa leaves, hard-boiled egg, blood cockles for the toppings and garnishing. Read full recipe and instructions of this Singapore Katong Laksa here.
“Few things to take note of. Firstly, blend the spice paste as fine as possible and make sure to stir-fry the spice paste till the colour darkens (really important). Next, only bring the Laksa soup to boil AFTER adding the coconut milk, because coconut milk coagulates after being boiled for too long. We also used fish stock this time round and increased the amount ofhay bee and laksa leaves to make the soup more flavourful and aromatic.” -TheMeatMen
This recipe requires dried chilies, dried shrimp, shallots, fresh red chilies, garlic, turmeric, blue ginger, ginger, lemongrass (white portion), candlenuts, coriander powder, belachan and peanut oil for the spice paste; fish or prawn stock, water, fresh coconut milk, salt, sugar and laksa leaves for the soup; prawns, bean sprouts, tau pok, fresh thick bee hoon, fish cake and laksa leaves for the toppings. Read full recipe and instructions of the Nonya Laksa here.
“The very first bowl of laksa I had when I was really young was from an unassuming looking neighbourhood stall near my old place. This was way before the times when people were aware of Hepatitis B and way before it became fashionable to buy coconut milk in terapaks off supermarket shelves. In other words, it was the time when cockles were really large, fresh and bloody, and one could almost be certain that fresh coconut milk was used to ensure all the “lemak” awesomeness! This is the type of laksa which I grew up eating.” -TravellingFoodies
This recipe requires prawns, cooking oil and water for the prawn stock; red chilies, dried red chilies, buah keras, shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric root, galangal, lemongrass (white portion) for the spice paste; spice paste, coriander seeds, dried shrimp, belacan powder, fresh coconut milk, prawn stock, daun kesum, tau pok, fish balls, sugar, salt, cooking oil and water for the gravy; rice vermicelli, prawns, beansprouts, fried rice cakes, hard-boiled eggs, blood cockles and daun kesum for the main ingredients and garnishing. Read full recipe and instructions of the Laksa Lemak here.
If you’re going to try your hands on any of these recipes, have fun and tell me how they turn out!