Rolled Noodles in Black Pepper Gravy

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Preparation info

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My Rendang isn't Crispy

My Rendang isn't Crispy

By Zaleha Kadir Olpin

Published 2019

  • About

This recipe is lengthy, but I promise the result is well worth the effort! Laksam is unlike other noodle soups, as it is served in a creamy black pepper sauce and topped with a variety of vegetables and a chilli paste. I love making this dish, especially the rolled noodles, since it reminds me of my childhood when I would watch with fascination as the laksa vendor made this at her stall near our house.


Rolled Noodles

  • 420 g (15 oz) rice flour
  • 70 g ( oz) plain flour
  • 1.25 litres (40 fl oz / 5 cups) warm water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil


  • 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup) water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500 g (1 lb oz) Spanish mackerel
  • 500 ml (16 fl oz / 2 cups) coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 slices asam gelugor


  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns


  • A handful of bean sprouts, tailed
  • 5 long beans, finely chopped
  • ½ medium cucumber, shredded
  • Laksa leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 torch ginger bud, thinly sliced

Chilli Paste

  • 10 dried chillies, seeds removed and soaked in hot water to rehydrate, then squeezed to remove excess water before using
  • 2.5-cm (1-inch) fermented prawn paste, toasted
  • ½ tsp salt


  • Place all the ingredients for the noodles in a mixing bowl and stir using a whisk, making sure there are no lumps.
  • Prepare a steamer and a baking tray that will fit into the steamer.
  • Coat the tray well with oil. Pour a little rice flour mixture into the prepared tray to form a thin layer (see Note). Place into the steamer and steam for about 5 minutes. Remove the tray and run a small spatula along the edges of the rice flour sheet to loosen it, then roll it up, making sure it doesn’t break. Rub some oil on the roll and place on a clean plate. Cover with cling film and set aside.
  • Repeat the step above until the mixture is used up.
  • Prepare the gravy. Boil the water in a small pot. Add the salt and fish, and poach until the fish is cooked through. Remove the fish and debone. Strain the poaching stock and set aside.
  • Place the fish into a food processor. Add the spices and poaching stock, and blend into a paste. Transfer to a medium pot. Add the coconut milk, sugar, salt and asam gelugor and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Add more water if the gravy is too thick, but be careful not to add too much water since the gravy needs to coat the noodles when you eat it.
  • Pound the ingredients for the chilli paste coarsely using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  • To serve, cut the noodle logs into bite-sized pieces. Place into bowls and spoon the gravy over. Add the topping and chilli paste. Enjoy!