Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Laksa

Laksa is a spicy soup popular in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.  A very long time ago I went travelling in that part of the world and it still brings back warm memories.

There are as many different types of Laksa as you like.  Some have more curry flavours, some more spicy, garnishes vary from egg, to coriander, to pineapple!  My version is simplified and easy to make from ingredients you can find in a UK supermarket, although when I do next go to a Chinese supermarket I'm going to try some shrimp paste in the mix and try galangal rather than ginger.

You don't have to include turmeric, not all recipes do but for me it reminds me of Singapore, that meeting point of so many foods and cultures where the Indian influence merges with Malay, Chinese and European.




Prawn Laksa - Serves 1

Ingredients

For the paste (you will use half, freeze the other half)
3 dried red chillis
3 spring onions (scallions)
1 tbsp unsalted peanuts
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) try to include some stalk and washed root, it has loads of flavour
1 tsp turmeric
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fish sauce
Juice 1 lime

For the soup
Approx 8 - 10 raw prawns
4-5 mini sweetcorn
1/2 green pepper
2 mushrooms
(Or whatever combination of vegetables you like)
Approx 20g, 2/3 oz rice ribbon noodles
A half tin, 165ml, 5.5 fl oz coconut milk

To serve
A squeeze of lime
Fish sauce
Peanuts
Coriander (cilantro)

Method

Make the curry paste by blending all of the ingredients together in a food processor.  It will make a coarse paste.  Put half into a freezer bag and freeze for up to a month.

Put the remaining paste into a saucepan, fry for a couple of seconds then add the coconut milk and about half again of water.  Bring to the boil then add the ingredients in the order they will cook, so for me I put in the sweetcorn, then the mushrooms, prawns and peppers together quickly followed by the rice noodles (mine were pretty much instant noodles, follow pack instructions.)  From adding the sweetcorn it took about 5-6 minutes to cook, just make sure the prawns are cooked through and the rice noodles are soft.



Add some more boiling water if it's too thick, add lime juice and fish sauce to taste and serve your delicious Laksa.

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