Updated: Mar 3, 2020
When there is a Nasi Lemak pizza, there will be a Laksa pizza! This pizza is somewhat inspired by one of my Instagramers; she posted a laksa dish from Penang. I was astonished to find out that Penang has its own version of Laksa. I knew I had to research about it; the Laksa is quite different as it is a tamarind based soup as compared to the traditional coconut milk ones. What makes it unique is that the Laksa is served with shrimp paste. Check out her post:
Please note that there are 2 types of shrimp paste in the Asian grocery store. One of which is an unprocessed shrimp paste, the other is that black ooey gooey processed shrimp paste. It is usually processed with sugar and some thickening agent. Be sure you are getting the right shrimp paste. It has that umami funk which some might get turn on or off. Nonetheless, I just knew it will go very well with the pizza.
I had tried to make the tamarind cheese sauce for the pizza and it didn't turn out well at all. So, I decided to pull an old Laksa cheese sauce from one of my early pizza creations. I did some minor tweets to the recipe to sorta "enhance" the flavors even more, and it worked as a charm on the pizza fritta dough. I also tried to keep the toppings to a minimal; I only used tofu puffs, bean sprouts and Laksa leaves. I did not add any mayo or extra cheese as the sauce is already very rich.
With the skepticism of the shrimp paste at the back of my head, I still pushed forward with a drizzle. As soon as I took the 1st bite, the skepticism had turned into a big smile on my face! A victory smile indeed! The shrimp paste not only is an umami bomb in the mouth, but it brings out the Laksa flavors superbly well! I am still wondering why the traditional Laksa doesn't use this. Anyway, let's save the debate for another day and enjoy this pizza.
(Make three 8 inch pizza)
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 Cheese Sauce:
Laksa Leaves (Persicaria Odorata / Vietnamese Coriander), 12 Leaves
Bleached All Purpose Flour, 1 TBSP
Unsalted Butter, 1 TBSP
Coconut Milk,1 Cup
Gruyere Freshly Shredded, 1/4 Cup
Low Moisture Mozzarella Freshly Shredded, 1/8 Cup
Parmigiano Reggiano Freshly Grated, 1 TBSP
Palm Sugar, 1/2 TBSP
Sea Salt, Pinch
White Pepper, Pinch
Bean Sprouts, A Handful
Tofu Puff, 4 Pieces
Pizza Fritta Dough, 3 Dough Balls
Canola / Peanut / Vegetable Oil, For Frying
Laksa Leaves (Persicaria Odorata / Vietnamese Coriander), 6 Leaves
Shrimp Paste, For Drizzling
Fresh Lime Juice, 2
Fresh Lime Zest, 2
Pure Palm Sugar Syrup, For Drizzling
Dutch Oven / Deep Fryer
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Blender / Food Processor
Wire Cooling Rack / Plate Lined with Kitchen Paper
Please visit my “Making Pizza At Home" page for shaping the pizza dough.
Please visit my “Pizza Fritta Dough” page for the dough recipe.
Prepare the laksa spice mix.
Soaked dried chilies in a bowl of warm water for at least 30 mins or until the chilies are soft.
Slice, discard the seeds and add into the blender.
*If possible, wear a pair of gloves when deseeding as some dried chilies are really spicy.*
In another bowl, soak dried shrimps with 1/4 cup of water for at least 30 mins.
Add the shrimps and water into the food processor.
Prepare a steamer.
In another bowl, add dried scallops and 1/4 cup of water.
Steam until the scallops are fork-tender.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool down.
Once cooled, using hands to shred the scallops and transfer them into the blender.
In the blender, add in the shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, candlenut, coriander powder, turmeric powder and fresh red chili.
Blitz it up until fine paste.
In a skillet over medium heat, drizzle in vegetable oil.
Once the oil is heated up, add in the belacan.
Using your spatula, break the belacan into small pieces.
Add in the chili mixture.
*Do not wash the blender.*
Saute to combine well.
Cook until the color has darkened and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Add 1/2 cup of water into the blender.
Blitz it up. This will "wash" the blender and get all the nooks and crannies. Don't let those go to waste.
Prepare the cheese mix.
Stack 12 laksa leaves, roll the leaves into a cigar shape.
Finely slice the leaves and set aside.
In a sauce pot over medium-low heat, add in butter.
Once the butter starts to melt, add in flour.
Whisk to combine well.
Once the color turns pale yellowish, gradually, add in coconut milk and water from the blender while still whisking at the same time.
*Make sure no lumps.*
Gradually, add in the spice mix while still whisking at the same time.
Once the spice mix is fully incorporated, gradually add in the cheeses.
Whisk to combine well and all the cheeses have melted.
Add in the sliced laksa leaves and palm sugar.
Whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper or more palm sugar.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Deep fry and assemble the pizza.
Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Blanch the bean sprout in boiling water for about a minute.
Remove from heat and set aside in a strainer to remove excess water.
Dry toast the tofu puffs in a skillet over medium heat until almost charred on both sides.
Remove from heat.
Slice in half lengthwise and dice to small pieces. Set aside.
Prepare a dutch oven or a deep fryer with at least 3 inches of oil.
*Drop a small pinch of dough into the oil. If it starts to sizzle, the temperature of the oil is ready.*
After shaping the pizza dough, gently and carefully, drop the pizza dough into the oil away from you.
Deep fry until the bottom is golden brown.
Using tongs to carefully flip the pizza dough.
Deep fry until golden brown on the other side as well.
Using tongs to carefully transfer the pizza dough onto a wire cooling rack or a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain off excess oil.
Throw in a small handful of laksa into the oil.
*Be careful as it will splatter.*
Remove from heat and set aside.
Immediately, spoon and spread the laksa cheese sauce evenly onto the pizza.
Scatter the bean sprouts, tofu puffs and fried laksa leaves over the top
Next, using scissors, cut the fresh laksa leaves over the top as well.
Drizzle the shrimp paste lightly in a criss-cross pattern over the top.
Top the pizza off with a light drizzle of lime juice and freshly grated lime zest.
Finally, drizzle palm sugar syrup over the pizza in a spiral motion.
Repeat the steps for the remaining pizza.
Slice and serve immediately.