OMG it's Laksa time!
One of my all time favourite meals is Laksa – but golly I’ve had some shockers lately which means I’ve had to make one myself cause no one else seems to be able to :( Mind you though this Laksa takes a lot of love to get it to the table so make sure your making it for people who either love Laksa or people you really love. Rick Stein’s Laksa (from Lifestyle Food site) is very well balanced with a kick of spice. Although his recipe is for four people I’ve suggested where a few more ingredients wouldn’t go astray. You’ll notice if you click on the link, the method looks different, it’s not really, I’ve just rearranged it to make it more practical than the way the original is written, as it had you dashing all about the kitchen. I read the recipe really thoroughly and then did the laksa steps in a more logical way.
For the soup
- 250g raw unpeeled prawns (this only works out to be 6 large prawns, so I’d totes double this to 500g)
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 200g firm tofu
- 400ml coconut milk
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp palm sugar
- 400g fresh rice noodles (go 800g, btw originally recipe says to use Hokkien Noodles, however they’re not GF)
- 160g chicken breast 1 cm slices (is only half a chicken breast, so double)
- 8 Mussels (my cheeky add)
For the laksa spice paste
- 4 dried red kashmiri chillies soaked for half an hour (if your like me and can’t find ’em, use four large chillies, seeds and all)
- 20g nuts cashew nuts
- 2 stalks lemongrass chopped
- 3 fat garlic cloves 15g
- 20g piece ginger,
- 2 tsps fish curry paste or powder or curry powder
- 75g shallots, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp blachan (shrimp paste)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 100g bean sprouts
- 100g cooked fine green beans
- 3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
- A handful of mixed mint and coriander leaves
For the laksa spice paste, put the chillies into a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend to a smooth paste. Set aside.
Cut the tofu into 2.4x1cm pieces and fry in oil till crisp drain well on kitchen paper.
While the tofu is browning, blanche your green beans and set aside. Once your done these, heat your rice noodles through.
Peel the prawns, reserving the heads and shells. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium-sized pan, add the heads and shells and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until they are crisp and golden. Add 1 litre of water, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 4 minutes strain.
When you’re monitoring your prawn stock it’s a good time to cut up your eschalots (for garnish), pluck your fresh herb leaves and set aside your bean sprouts. Might help if you put them all onto one plate (keeping separate) so when you layer up later it’s all ready to go.
Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the spice paste and fry gently for 2-3 minutes until it starts to smell fragrant. Add the prawn stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and 1 teaspoons of salt or to taste, and simmer for 3 minutes. . Drop the peeled prawns and chicken into the curry soup and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Then add the Mussels.
Drain and divide the noodles between 4 warmed, deep noodle bowls and top with the bean sprouts, cooked green beans and fried tofu. Ladle over the curry soup, trying to divide the prawns and chicken pieces equally between each bowl. Top each with the spring onions and mint and coriander.