Laksa Recipe 1

Laksa Recipe 1

Ingredients

2 L water
500 g raw prawns, peeled and deveined, reserve the prawn heads
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, butterflied
125 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
Trident 400 ml coconut cream
200 g fried tofu puffs, halved
2 stalks curry leaves
450 g fresh hokkien egg noodles
200 g dried rice vermicelli, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained
200 g bean sprouts
salt to taste

Paste
5 cm piece galangal, peeled and chopped
5 cm piece turmeric, peeled and chopped (or 1 tablespoon ground powder)
250 g French shallots, peeled
10 garlic cloves, chopped
20 dried red chillies, seeded then soaked in hot water for 30 minutes to soften (less if you don’t like it too hot)
6 large fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped
10 candlenuts
50 g dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then drained
2 Tbs belacan (dried shrimp paste), toasted
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, chopped

Method

Pour water into a large stockpot and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, add the chicken and let it cook for 20 minutes. Reserve the stock, remove the chicken, set aside to cool, then shred the chicken into small pieces.
Meanwhile, put all the laksa paste ingredients in a food processor and blend to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a wok on medium heat, fry prawn heads for a minute, then add laksa paste and fry for a further 15 minutes. When it’s done, the paste should be dark brown and a layer of red oil will separate from the spices.

Tip everything in the wok into the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Pour in coconut cream, season with salt, add curry leaves and fried tofu puffs, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer until you are ready to serve.
Half fill another large pot with water and bring to the boil. For each serve, grab a small handful each of hokkien noodles and rice vermicelli, and a few prawns. Put them into a wire mesh strainer or a sieve and dunk the noodles and prawns into the hot water for 1 minute. Drain and shake off any excess water, then transfer to a serving bowl.
Top the bowl of noodles with bean sprouts and chicken then ladle the hot laksa broth along with a few tofu puffs over the top.