laksa

Laksa yum!

Laksa is loved all over the world. There are many many varieties as people add their own twist to this iconic dish. My favourite is the Singapore laksa variety. It’s unique and tastes so delicious. The key ingredient that makes the difference is the use of laksa leaf – daun kesum or Vietnamese coriander. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find daun kesum if you are not living in South East Asia. I used to have a plant but it died on me during winter. I must try to get another plant and perhaps learn to dry the leaves so that I can have the full Singapore laksa flavour to satisfy my craving,

So, here’s my recipe without daun kesum. I think it still tastes pretty good to me, although not perfect. If you can find daun kesum, just chop them up and add to the laksa soup and enjoy that wonderful aroma.

INGREDIENTS

Laksa Paste (enough for 4 serves, keep leftover for another day):
1 stalk lemongrass (chopped)
1 piece (1″) belachan (roasted)
1 piece (1″) ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp fried onion
2 candlenuts
3 fresh chillies
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp dried prawns (soaked in hot water)
3 dried chillies or more (add if you like it hot)

For 2 serves of laksa noodles:
125 gm thick rice noodles (I personally prefer yellow noodles)
6 prawns
4 fish balls
6 tofu puffs
Handful of bean sprouts (I use spinach in the video)
2 tbsp of fried laksa paste
1 cup of prawn stock (dry fry prawn heads and shells and simmer for 30 minutes)
1/2 can of coconut milk

1 tsp (per serve) chopped daun kesum (if available)

METHOD

  1. Pound all ingredients for laksa together to a paste. (I use a grinder for convenience, add a little water to help bring the paste together)
  2. Blanch noodles, prawns, tofu puffs and beansprout. Set aside.
  3. Fry the laksa paste. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a pan. When hot, add laksa paste and fry at low heat. Add more oil if laksa paste appears dry. Fry until fragrant and when chilli oil starts to separate. I use half the amount of laksa paste to make laksa for 2 people and store the rest of the laksa paste in the fridge for another meal.
  4. To the laksa paste add 1 cup of prawn stock. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add chopped daun kesum or Vietnamese coriander, if available.
  5. Add coconut milk just before serving.
  6. Ladle laksa soup generously over the noodles. I like to heat noodles in the laksa soup for a couple of minutes to allow the noodles to absorb the tasty laksa soup.
  7. Top with prawns, fish balls and tofu puffs and serve. 😋

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