Laksa

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So the first rain has come, spring is finally back to Australia! Well, it is straight to summer in Mackay though haha. In order to welcome back the heat, I decided to cook up a storm of aromatics to fill my whole house with warm and delicious fragrance. What I cooked that day was Australian favourite curry (actually everyone’s) – Laksa.

Laksa is a very popular dish in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Southern Thailand. Its origin is difficult to pinpoint, as there are so many varieties across Southeast Asia. The two most well-known Laksa recipes are Curry Laksa and Asam Laksa. I will be sharing with you today the recipe for the former.

To make a delicious Laksa, you need to have a good base and that consists of Laksa paste and stock. For Laksa paste, you can buy the store-bought one, but trust me, it will taste much better if you make your own. It is actually not that difficult to make at all. You just need to gather all the listed ingredients, put them in a food processor, hit the whizz button and let the machine do its job. You will have your homemade Laksa paste in no time. And if you do not own a food processor like me, the mortar and pestle will be your best buddy on that day. Pounding our stresses away while cooking an awesome dish is a win-win, right? Haha.

The stock I used was prawn stock, but you can use chicken stock as well, or even a combination of both. Umami bomb! I would say haha. Prawn stock is a good way to make use of your prawn shells. There is so much flavour in prawn shells, just saute it with some oil, crush in some garlic and shallot, simmer it for 20 minutes to half an hour and your prawn stock is done. No food waste and you will have your own stock.

(Recipe video at the end)

THE RECIPE

Laksa

Serving 4 people

Prep time Cook time
30 mins 1 hour

Ingredients:

Fresh prawn peeled and devein 500gm
Eggs 4 eggs
Bean sprout 250gm
Laksa leaves/basil and coriander leaves 1 bunch
Fish cake 200gm
Deep fried tofu 250gm
Coconut cream 800ml
Noodles of your choice ( I used Hokkien Noodles)
1kg

.Prawn Stock:

Shell of 500gm fresh prawn
Garlic 15gm
Shallot 1
Water/ chicken stock 2.5l

. Laksa Paste:

Dried shrimp 30gm
Dried chillies seeded 5gm
Lemongrass 3 stalk
Garlic 40gm
Shallot 40gm
Ginger 30gm
Galangal 30gm
Tumeric powder/use fresh one if available 10gm
Coriander seed 10gm
Belacan 1tbsp
Macadamia nut/ candle nut 8

Method:

1. Wash then peel the shell off the prawns. Make a cut along the back of the prawns, wash away the vein. Set aside to cook as topping later.

2. Heat up a pot on medium high heat, add oil, then saute the prawn shells till fragrant, crush in garlic and shallot. Cook until nice and fragrant. Then add water/ chicken stock. Bring to the boil then turn the gas down to simmer for 20 – 30 mins.

3. Meanwhile, let’s prepared our Laksa paste. Soak the dried shrimps and dried seeded chillies in hot water to rehydrate. Peel the skin off ginger and galangal, cut into small cubes so it is easier to blend. Cut the lemongrass into thin slice (white part only) you can add the top part to the stock for more flavour.

4. Place all the Laksa paste ingriedient into the blender and blend until smooth. Add some dried shrimp soaking water to make it more easy to blend.

5. Place a pot over medium high heat, add some oil then add the blended Laksa paste. Cook the paste for about 15- 20 mins stir frequently to prevent burning.

6. Strain the prawn shells off the stock, add in the Laksa paste, stir to combine. Bring to the boil then add the coconut cream, turn down to simmer. Seasoning with fish sauce and sugar.

7. Add prawns to the soup and simmer for 3 minutes or until cooked. Add the fried tofu so it can absorb the soup. Keep the soup simmering until serving.

8. While the soup is simmering, you can prepare you toppings. Cook the noodles of your choice (follow the packet intructions), Boil the fish cake until puff. Blanch bean sprout for 30 seconds. Boil room temperature eggs for 6 minutes, then soak in ice water and peel.

9. To assemble you Curry Laksa. Add the noodle, cooked prawns, bean sprout, halved egg and the fried tofu. Spoon over the delicious Laksa soup, garnish with some Laksa leaves and enjoy!!!

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