Yesterday I decided to make some Laksa at home.. I went on a quest for fresh Asian ingredients to make the perfect Laksa.
Laksa making is actually quite simple if you follow a few steps. The key is using the right ingredients, turning them into a paste and cooking it properlt to ensure maximum flavour.
Cooking your paste too quickly on a too hot of a flame will result in a burnt and bitter flavour. Not cooking the paste for long enough would give off a raw taste for the onions, spices etc which can be unpleasant.
You will need (makes 2 generous portions)
1 small chicken breast – sliced into thin pieces
about 8 prawn cutlets
handful of hokein noodles
handful of sliced green beans
4 tofu puffs (halved)
4 asian shallots or one small red onion
2 large cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
1 red chilli (optional)
1 stalk lemong grass – dry exterior removed and soft inside chopped
2 teaspoons prawn paste
2 heaped tablespoons coconut cream (Ayyam brand is excellent)
0.5 to 1 teaspoon Malaysian curry powder (I use Baba meat curry powder)
1 teaspoon sugar (optional to taste)
lemon wedges to serve
Blend onion/shallots/ginger/garlic/lemongrass/chilli to a fine paste.
Toast the prawn paste in a hot pan then add a few tablespoons of oil. Add paste and lower heat to medium. Stirfry the paste until fragrant and until the oil splits from the paste. If you find it is cooking too quickly add some water and allow to reduce. Add curry powder and stir for a minute.
Once paste is ready add one cup of water and allow to simmer for about 15 mins. Taste ans season well. The mix is ready when no rawness can be tasted. Add coconut cream and mix well. Add more water to form a soup (about 1.5 cups). Add chicken and beans. Allow to cook, then add prawns and chopped tofu puffs. Finally add the hokein noodles when prawns are almost cooked.
Serve with a wedge of lemon. You can also garnish with spring onions, beanshoots and hardboiled egg.
I find it tastes better the next day.