Laksa Burger

Updated: Mar 14

When there is a laksa pizza, why not a laksa burger? After successfully made a laksa pizza fritta, a laksa burger doesn't seem quite far fetched. I already have half of the challenge done, which is the sauce. The other half is figuring out what kinda patties should I create, what type of burger buns to carry what's in between and lastly, what kinda greens to compliment the patties and sauce.

I actually wanted to go for chicken patties, but chicken is hardly ever used in a bowl of laksa. So, I decided to create shrimp patties instead. In the past, I made quite a handful of "burger buns", but I settled for steamed mantou in the end. I personally find that mantou or bao is very underrated and underused. I mean, they soft, pillowy and they are perfect as burger buns. As for the greens, I used toasted tofu puff, blanched bean sprouts and laksa leaves. I combined the greens together with a drizzle of shrimp paste (pls read about it on my laksa pizza fritta page). There, the laksa burger is born!

I seriously never thought this will work out, I am glad that I gave it a try. The spicy tangy laksa sauce, the crispy crunchy bouncy shrimp patty, the laksa salad is an umami bomb which cuts thru' the richness very well and the soft pillowy mantou bun just compliments everything well together. This is probably my metaphor on a burger. I hope you will give this metaphor of mine a try.

Ingredients:

(Make 2 burgers)

  • Laksa Spice Mix:

  • Dried Chilies, 4

  • Dried Shrimps, 1 1/2 TBSP

  • Dried Scallops, 3

  • Water, 1/2 Cup

  • Shallots Coarsely Chopped, 3

  • Garlic Crushed, 1 Clove

  • Galangal (Blue Ginger) Sliced, 1/4 Inch

  • Lemongrass (White Part Only) Finely Sliced, 1 Stalk

  • Candlenut / Macadamia Nuts, 1

  • Coriander Powder, 1/4 TBSP

  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 TSP

  • Fresh Red Chili Sliced Deseeded, 1

  • Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, A Drizzle

  • Belacan (Fermented Shrimp Paste), 1/2 TBSP

  • Laksa Sauce:

  • Laksa Leaves (Persicaria Odorata / Vietnamese Coriander), 6 Leaves

  • Bleached All Purpose Flour, 1 TBSP

  • Unsalted Butter, 1 TBSP

  • Coconut Milk,1 Cup

  • Palm Sugar, 1/2 TBSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Patties:

  • Shrimps Fully Shelled & Deveined, 12 Large

  • Baking Soda, 1 TSP

  • Ice Cubes, 1 Heaping Cup

  • Egg White, 1 TBSP

  • Tapioca Starch, 1/2 TBSP

  • Shaoxing Wine / Chinese Cooking Wine, 1 TBSP

  • Japanese Mayo, 2 TSP

  • Bleached All Purpose Flour, 2 TSP + 1 Cup For Dredging

  • Corn Starch, 2 TSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • White Pepper, Pinch

  • Egg Beaten, 1

  • Japanese Panko, 1 Cup

  • Laksa Salad:

  • Bean Sprouts, A Handful

  • Tofu Puff, 4 Pieces

  • Laksa Leaves (Persicaria Odorata / Vietnamese Coriander), 12 Leaves

  • Shrimp Paste, 1 TBSP

  • Fresh Lime Juice, 1

  • Fresh Lime Zest, 1

  • Burgers:

  • Mantou Buns, 2

Equipment:

  • Dutch Oven / Deep Fryer

  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan

  • Blender / Food Processor

  • Sauce Pot

  • Wire Cooling Rack / Plate Lined with Kitchen Paper

  • Griddle

Directions:

  1. Please visit my "How To Make Mantou / Bao / Turnover Bao" page for the mantou recipe.

  2. Prepare the laksa spice mix.

  3. Soaked dried chilies in a bowl of warm water for at least 30 mins or until the chilies are soft.

  4. Slice, discard the seeds and add into the blender.

  5. *If possible, wear a pair of gloves when deseeding as some dried chilies are really spicy.*

  6. In another bowl, soak dried shrimps with 1/4 cup of water for at least 30 mins.

  7. Add the shrimps and water into the food processor.

  8. Prepare a steamer.

  9. In another bowl, add dried scallops and 1/4 cup of water.

  10. Steam until the scallops are fork-tender.

  11. Remove from heat and set aside to cool down.

  12. Once cooled, using hands to shred the scallops and transfer them into the blender.

  13. In the blender, add in the shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, candlenut, coriander powder, turmeric powder and fresh red chili.

  14. Blitz it up until fine paste.

  15. In a skillet over medium heat, drizzle in vegetable oil.

  16. Once the oil is heated up, add in the belacan.

  17. Using your spatula, break the belacan into small pieces.

  18. Add in the chili mixture.

  19. *Do not wash the blender.*

  20. Saute to combine well.

  21. Cook until the color has darkened and most of the liquid has evaporated.

  22. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

  23. Remove from heat and set aside.

  24. Add 1/2 cup of water into the blender.

  25. Blitz it up. This will "wash" the blender and get all the nooks and crannies. Don't let those go to waste.

  26. Prepare the laksa sauce.

  27. Stack the laksa leaves, roll the leaves into a cigar shape.

  28. Finely slice the leaves and set aside.

  29. In a sauce pot over medium-low heat, add in butter.

  30. Once the butter starts to melt, add in flour.

  31. Whisk to combine well.

  32. Once the color turns pale yellowish, gradually, add in coconut milk and water from the blender while still whisking at the same time.

  33. *Make sure no lumps.*

  34. Gradually, add in the spice mix while still whisking at the same time.

  35. Once the spice mix is fully incorporated, add in the sliced laksa leaves and palm sugar.

  36. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved.

  37. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper or more palm sugar.

  38. Remove from heat and set aside.

  39. Prepare the shrimp patties.

  40. Transfer the shrimps into a large bowl.

  41. Coat the shrimps well with baking soda.

  42. Add just enuff water to submerge the shrimps.

  43. Add in the ice cubes.

  44. Set aside for at least 30 mins.

  45. You can see that the shrimps start to change color a bit.

  46. Drain and rinse the shrimps thoroughly under running water.

  47. Place shrimps into a small bowl along with egg white and tapioca starch.

  48. Mix until the shrimps are well coated.

  49. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge overnight.

  50. Next day, divide the shrimps' portion into halves.

  51. Dice and set aside.

  52. Finely chop the other half into a paste or mousse. Best with a Chinese Cleaver.

  53. Transfer all the shrimp into a mixing bowl.

  54. Add in Shaoxing wine, mayo, flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper.

  55. Mix to combine well.

  56. Cover with cling film and place it in the freezer for 10 mins.

  57. Remove from freezer and shape into 2 equal round shaped patties.

  58. Dredge the patties into a cup of flour.

  59. Shake off any excess flour.

  60. Dredge the patties into the egg and lastly into panko.

  61. Prepare a dutch oven or a deep fryer with at least 3 inches of oil over medium heat.

  62. *Drop a small pinch of panko into the oil. If it starts to sizzle, the temperature of the oil is ready.*

  63. Gently drop the shrimp patties away from you into the oil.

  64. Deep frying until golden brown on both sides.

  65. Remove from heat and transfer onto a wire cooling rack or a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off excess oil.

  66. Prepare laksa salad.

  67. Bring a pot of water to a boil.

  68. Blanch the bean sprout in boiling water for about a minute.

  69. Remove from heat and set aside in a strainer to remove excess water.

  70. Dry toast the tofu puffs in a skillet over medium heat until almost charred on both sides.

  71. Remove from heat and slice in half lengthwise and diced to small pieces.

  72. Transfer the bean sprouts and tofu puffs into a large mixing bowl.

  73. Stack the laksa leaves, roll the leaves into a cigar shape.

  74. Finely slice the leaves and add them into the bowl.

  75. Add in shrimp paste, lime juice and zest.

  76. Toss to combine well.

  77. Cover with cling film and set aside in the fridge until ready to use.

  78. Assemble the burger.

  79. Slice the mantou in halves lengthwise.

  80. Dry grill in a griddle until grill marks are seen.

  81. Remove from heat and spread the laksa sauce onto each mantou halves.

  82. Top with the shrimp patties onto mantou bottom halves.

  83. Place a heaping TBSP of salad on top of the patties.

  84. Cover the burger with the top mantou halves.

  85. Serve immediately.

#laksa #anythinginbetween #shrimp #burger

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