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Sunday, 5 May 2013

Laksa Time

A couple of weeks ago, Sydney weather finally came around and we experienced the first brisk winds and chilly mornings of Autumn (nearly a month late =P). Most people I know wouldn't welcome such a change, but as you've probably noticed, I love cold weather. And I also love the food you tend to veer towards when it's cold, such as this laksa my brother suggested we make. This was such an easy albeit time consuming recipe, but so worth the effort. It tasted amazing, and gave me that satisfied feeling of having had a good hearty warming meal away from the cold outside. This didn't last long in our house, even though the recipe yielded a huge batch!

Curry Laksa
Recipe by Billy Law

2 litres (8 cups) water
500g raw prawns (shrimp), peeled, deveined, tails left on (reserve prawn heads)
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
125ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
400ml coconut cream
Salt, to taste
200g packet fried tofu puffs, halved
450g packet fresh hokkien egg noodles, microwaved in a bowl for 3 minutes to soften
200g packet dried rice vermicelli, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained
200g bean sprouts
2 hard boiled eggs, halved (we omitted these)
100g fish cake, thinly sliced
Handful of mint leaves
Handfull of Vietnamese coriander (we used normal coriander)

Laksa Paste
5 cm (2 inch) piece galangal, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp group tumeric powder
250g French shallots, peeled
10 garlic cloves, chopped
20 dried red chillies, seeded then soaked in hot water (we used less since dad doesn't like it much)
6 large fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped
 10 candlenuts, roasted
50g dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then drained
2 tbsp belachan (dried shrimp paste), toasted (we could only find the stuff in soya bean oil, worked fine)
 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, chopped

1. Pour the 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 in the hot water for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken, set aside to cool, then shred the chicken into small pieces.

2. Add the prawn heads to the pot and bring to the boil again. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minute. Scoop out the heads and discard them.

3. Meanwhile, put all the laksa paste ingredients in a food processor, and process to a fine paste.

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat and fry the laksa paste for about 15-20 mins (NOTE - this wasn't necessary for us since we used the stuff in soya beam oil). The paste should be a dark brown and a layer of red oil will separate from the spices. Reserve a few tablespoons for serving later.

5. Add the cooked laksa paste to the stock, stirring to mix well. Pour in the coconut cream and bring to the boil. Season with salt, add the fried tofu puffs, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer until ready to serve.

6. Place the vermicelli noodles into a bowl, fill with hot water and leave for about 10 minutes. Drain and shake off excess water. 

7. Half fill another large pot with water and bring to the boil. Place the prawns in the water and cook for about 5 mins (until they are n longer translucent), drain and shake off excess water and place in serving bowl. Place the bean sprouts into the water and blanch for 30-60 seconds, drain and shake off excess water and transfer to serving bowl. Lastly place the hokien noodle into the water and cook for few minutes, drain and shake off excess water, place in serving bowl.

8. To assemble each serving, grab a handful of vermicelli, a handful of hokkien noodles, a few prawns and a handful of bean sprouts and place them in a separate serving bowl. Top each bowl with half and egg, a few slices of fish cake and some shredded chicken, then ladle the hot laksa broth along with a few tofu puffs over the top. Garnish with mint leaves and Vietnamese coriander. Serve with the reserved laksa paste on the side, to add to the soup as desired.

=D xx

1 comment:

  1. This laksa looks absolutely yum! I had the most terrible laksa at the noodle house last week. Will try making my own now:)


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