PE­NANG AS­SAM LAKSA

SALT Magazine - - Feature - Princess Ter­race Café (Copthorne King’s Ho­tel)

This pi­quant Pe­nang sig­na­ture com­prises a thick, tangy gravy mixed with mack­erel, and crowned with an as­sort­ment of gar­nish­ings.

Pe­nang Chef Lim Por Tit has been dish­ing out this spe­cial­ity at Copthorne King’s Ho­tel’s Princess Ter­race for the last nine years. His ver­sion of au­then­tic Pe­nang laksa is rather ad­dic­tive due to the spicy and sour taste of the fish broth. After be­ing cooked, the kem­bong fish’s (In­dian mack­erel) flesh is care­fully sep­a­rated from the bones, and then flaked and added to the dish later on. Ac­cord­ing to Lim, the broth is cooked for four hours be­fore be­ing set aside overnight to en­sure that max­i­mum flavour is coaxed out. The fol­low­ing day, a mix­ture of spices is added to the con­cen­trated broth and sim­mered. Other es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ents that flavour the broth in­clude tamarind (as­sam) paste and dried tamarind slices (as­sam keping), which lends ex­tra tart­ness to the broth, along with a herba­ceous mix of laksa leaves, mint leaves, and gin­ger flower.

Be­fore serv­ing, the chef tops the thick noo­dles im­ported from Pe­nang with pineap­ple cubes, cu­cum­ber slices, red onion, mint leaf, laksa leaf, red chilli, and sliv­ers of fish meat, plus dash of hae ko (fer­mented prawn paste).

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