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Luscious Laksa

Are you lacking something in your life? Then try filling that hole, or your mouth, with some laksa. This recipe is from Mob Kitchen's cookbook Comfort Mob.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Makes: 3 portions

Paste ingredients:

75ml vegetable oil

1 small onion

1 1/2 inch piece of ginger

4 garlic cloves

1 1/2 red chillies

7 dried chillies

3/4 tbsp cumin

3/4tbsp turmeric

1 1/2tbsp coriander

1/ 1/2tbsp chilli powder (maybe less at your own discretion!)

25g shrimp paste

Broth Ingredients:

600ml stock

400ml (1 tin) of coconut milk

45g brown sugar

1 1/2tbsp tamarind paste

1 lemon grass


200g rice vermicelli noodles

As many green beans and bean sprouts as you want (or other vegetables if you'd prefer)

Six prawns per person

1. Make space for the paste

Blend 75ml vegetable oil, 1 small onion peeled and roughly chopped, 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, 4 garlic cloves,1 1/2 red chillies, 7 dried chillies, 3/4 tbsp cumin, 3/4tbsp turmeric, 1 1/2tbsp coriander, 1/ 1/2tbsp chilli powder (or to your taste) and 25g shrimp paste together. It will be the luscious colour of shrimp.

Place a large frying pan on low-medium heat and pour in the blended spice paste. Cook for 15-20 minutes stirring continuously (work those wrists out!) until the paste is dark in colour and the oil is seperating from the paste. It's best if you leave this for 24 hours in the fridge, but if you don't have time no harm done!

2. What's lacksaing in your life?

Find yourself a big saucepan, like almost grumpy dinner lady size, and add 600ml stock, 400ml (1 tin) of coconut milk, 45g brown sugar, 1 1/2tbsp tamarind paste, 1 lemon grass and the fried paste. Bring the tasty concoction to a boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes. No need to stir this bad boy vigorously.

While the liquid is taking care of itself, handle the noodles and toppings. Cook 200g rice vermicelli noodles by soaking them in just boiled water for 10 minutes. Once done, drain.

Heat another saucepan (we didn't say this would be a low washing up recipe) and boil some water in it. Once boiling, cook your allotted amount of beansprouts for 10 seconds, green beans for 3 minutes and prawns for 90 seconds. Once each ingredient is cooked add them to a cold water bath, like they're Sweeds at the sauna.

Take the broth off of the heat after 20 minutes and remove the lemon grass. Add sugar and salt to taste.

3. Assemblaysia those bowls

To two bowls, portion out the noodles, the beansprouts, green beans and prawns. Pour over the laksa broth to beautiful effect.

Dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "I've heard many legends of laksa and have even made a very off brand cheats version before, so was fascinated to try this. All in all it wasn't as much hard work as I expected! Although, I think one way to make this recipe speedier in future is to actually make the paste the day before like suggested - then this would be a cool 20 minute supper! The end result was very delicious, although I think I would add less chilli in future because the final few broth slurps were overwhelming! An 8/10."

Kate says: "There are many different variations of laksa (if you don't believe me just take a gander at the wikipedia page...) but this particular recipe is a take on the Nyonya Laksa. I think this is one of the dishes where you need to be in the mood for noodle soup, and I wasn't really on the day we made this. It was, however, full of flavour, easy to make, and the sauce was lovely and thick. It's great too because it's really customisable toppings wise and deliciously warming. Beware of the smell of the shrimp paste (or should I say death paste) which is very... say the least... I think I would try this again when I was in the mood, but mixing it up with other laksa variations or other toppings 7/10 "

7.5/10 Gasps


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