DRY NONYA LAKSA
Anyone who has ever slurped up Violet Oon’s dry laksa will attest to its deliciously punchy yet well balanced flavours. One of the best-sellers at National Kitchen and Violet Oon’s Satay Bar & Grill, this famous creation has always been a part of this culinary doyenne’s repertoire for parties and catering. How did it come about? “It was because she didn't like the laksa soup splattered on her blouse—so this was a good way to serve the dish for parties,” quips Oon’s daughter Tay Su-Lyn, who runs the business together with her family.
Oon shares, “This is my own traditional recipe that I learnt from my Aunty Nona, but I tweaked it to make it much richer in flavour. I have always enjoyed the rich homemade Nonya versions as those sold at hawker centre are sometimes watered down.”
According to Oon, the rempah composed of galangal, lemongrass, shallots, dried chillies, belacan and pepper forms the gravy’s base. This is fused with fried, ground dried prawns and perfumed with coconut cream and laksa leaves to create the Nonya laksa lemak that we know so well. The gravy is reduced until it’s thick and boldly flavoured, and when ready, tossed with a tangle of rice noodles. The dish is then generously topped with plump prawns, taupok, fish cake, bean sprouts, and a scattering of laksa leaves.