Can it really take 6 hours to get a post up on your blog? Yes it can, when your brand-new scanner poops out, your laptop starts acting up, and your DSL connection goes dead. Today I'm making do with the few slides I was able to get onto disk before one technology trip-up followed another.
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island formerly known as Borneo (the other is Sabah). Though I've not yet been, for me the word "Sarawak" brings to mind dense rainforest, swiftly moving rivers, and commonly shared long-houses. That changed a couple of weeks ago, when I sampled this little bowl of goodness.
Laksa is arguably Malaysia's national dish. I haven't yet sampled all its variations, but I imagine that when I have Sarawak laksa will rate right up top. Broth ingredients include coconut milk, candlenut, chile, garlic, tamarind, and -- I'm guessing here -- ground coriander. The rich, oily blend is ladeled over beehoon (thin rice noodles) and topped with prawns, shredded chicken, sliced omelet, bean sprouts, and chopped Chinese celery. In general I prefer a heftier, chewier noodle, but in this case the narrow noodles seem right with the heavy broth. Roasted chili sambal (ask for a big saucer) and kalamansi, for squeezing, are served on the side (along with a glass of iced lemon tea, if you wish).
Note the wee blobs of chili oil floating on the surface of the broth, and the bits of ground spice clinging to the sides of the bowl.
This version is served up by a Kuching native at her stall in Bangsar. The sweet-faced vendor with a ready smile tells us that it's a family recipe, and that many of her ingredients are flown in from Sarawak.
In Kuching this is breakfast, and right about now I can't think of a better way to start the day.
Sarawak Laksa stall at Nam Chuan coffee shop, 2-4 Lorong Ara Kiri, Lucky Garden, Bangsar. Open early morning till 3-ish. Closed every first and third Wednesday of the month.