So, here we are, on my last night of freedom. I’ve been on an extended leave from
torturous enslavement work, and I start again tomorrow, at an ungodly time of 7.45am on a Thursday morning. Ooh I can’t wait. In fact I feel like skipping dinner and running straight to the office malam ani jua! ;p (What was I thinking start keraja on Thursday??)
So as I laid in bed, wide awake at high morning today, but
wishing pretending to be dead, an unexpected SMS invitation to lunch from my cousin was music to my ears.
Only one way to celebrate my last taste of emancipation. A large bowl of Laksa ~ Lee Loi Fat style!
My noodle of choice, Mee kuning, drowned in a heavenly lemak pedas laksa sauce, rich with the coconut milk with that unmistakeable savoury taste of Bunga kantan or Ginger torch.
I found exactly three perfectly cooked prawns in the bowl, with strips of talur dadar, cucumber julienne, and slices of sotong. (The cucumber slice you see in the pic below was additional; I stole it from my cousin’s plate). But the portion is more than enough to satisfy your hunger pangs.
But many of you would be surprised to know this was technically only my second laksa ever. Honest.
The first I heard of laksa was circa 1993 in our cold kitchen in Tewkesbury St, Cardiff, when my ‘housemate’ Irma mentioned it and explained to me you used fish meat to make the laksa sauce, although there were many versions. Chef Wan’s and Bobby Chin’s shows on the food channel all showed the same technique, and true enough they all used fish. So- I never went near it. But friends have been raving about laksa, and I was feeling left out slightly. Curiosity got the best of me, and I wanted to taste laksa, and knew the only way to go was to create my own version of laksa without fish and make it. So I did. And that was the first time I tasted laksa, which I shared with friends, who attested it was delicious and ‘different’. But because I’d never had laksa prior to that, I didn’t really have a point of reference. I took my mates’ word for it, but unfortunately I found making laksa from scratch just too cumbersome. Banyak keraja lai… at least my no-ikan rabus version was! And this was two years ago.
But this Tuesday just gone I went out for minum, and just out of the blue I blurted laksa! I needed something spicy, creamy, hot and quick- and without fish. After assurances from the waitress they didn’t use fish, I made up my mind. And today I came back for my second laksa, this week, and ever.
Life is difficult as a fish-hater. Sigh. But if you asked me which I’d rather have between fish and work, I think I’d swallow my pride and go it with stinky fish than… Maybe fish isn’t so bad after all?