For as long as I could remember, I could never find laksa noodles for my homemade Penang asam laksa. I can find kuey teow or flat rice noodles, beehoon or vermicelli, tang hoon or mung bean noodles, a wide range of egg-based noodles but never laksa noodles. Heck, even soba and udon is easy to find.
So after some hunting around at my favourite Asian grocery store – Paris Store (there are no Asian shops here in Dole so I go to Paris Store in Lyon whenever I visit my mother-in-law) – I decided to take the plunge and make my own laksa noodles. The store stocked bags of Vietnamese flour mixes for all kinds of things and after looking at the packaging, I decided to try out the one that read “Rice Spaghetti” since it looked pretty much like a bowl of laksa.
It’s pretty much straight forward and reminded me of making glutinous rice balls. You basically cook one-third of the flour mix in some water until it thickens like glue. The remainder of the flour mix is mixed in with some more water. Once the “glue” is ready, it goes into the flour mix and here is when you get to exercise your muscles and mix everything until it resembles a semi-fluid glue mix. I had to add more water to get it down to the right consistency – somewhat like pancake batter. When that is right, pour some into a pipping bag and pipe some long strands into boiling water. They’ll float when ready and after that, just scoop up the floating noodles, toss them into cold water for a minute or two before you drain and set them aside.
When I first made these noodles, I made a rather watery batter and I wasn’t exactly organised. So it required two people – one to pipe the noodles and another to fish them out. Took me three tries to get everything to the right consistency, timing and cooking structure. In fact, my most recent attempt today saw me doing everything alone. From start to finish, it took less than 45 minutes. The result was approximately 1 to 1.5 kg of lovely springy freshly made noodles!
You could say that everyone savoured their rations, even Noah!