Prawn Laksa is a lovely light but fragrant dish
Hello and welcome to all about food. This week we’re adding a little spice and colour to the table…
This recipe is a lovely light but fragrant dish and is one that I regularly cook when the evenings get bright and a little warmer. A Laksa is a curry based noodle dish that originates from South East Asia (Malaysia/Singapore). If you like, you can double the quantities for the paste and store half in the fridge for another supper later in the week!
1 small red chilli
1 clove of garlic
A 3cm piece of ginger
1 stalk of lemon grass
A large bunch of fresh coriander
½ tsp turmeric
400ml chicken stock
300ml coconut milk
2 bunches of spinach
1 tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
200g rice noodles
200g raw large prawns
Small bunch of fresh mint
* Chop the chillies, peel the garlic, peel and roughly chop the ginger and put them all into the bowl of a food processor. Peel and discard any tough outer leaves from the lemon grass and roughly chop the tender leaves inside. Put half the coriander leaves and stems in with the chillies, ginger etc. Blitz until smooth, then add the turmeric – if it looks a little dry add a drop or two of vegetable oil.
* Place a deep pan over a moderate heat, add the spice paste, and fry for six-seven minutes, moving it around all the while so it doesn’t scorch. Once fragrant, pour in the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil.
* Clean the spinach thoroughly, remove the toughest of the stalks, and tear any large leaves into pieces. Wash them thoroughly. Put the still wet leaves into a hot pan, cover tightly with a lid and leave to steam for a minute or so until they have wilted. Lift out and add to the soup.
* Season with fish sauce to taste.
* Add the prawns to the soup and warm over a very gentle heat while cooking your noodles or for five/ten minutes until the prawns are pink.
* Cook the noodles as it suggests on the packet. They all vary depending on the exact type and brand. (Some rice noodles only need a quick soak in boiling water.) Chop the remaining coriander leaves and the mint, and stir them into the laksa together with the drained noodles.
If you’re not a fan of rice noodles or just prefer a thicker consistency in a soup you can substitute the rice noodles for egg noodles, rice or even quinoa. Just adjust the cooking times accordingly!
Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer.
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