King prawn Nyonya curry laksa

6
1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

Laksa spice paste

  • 80g of vegetable oil
  • 300g of onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 knob of ginger, approx. 7.5cm in length, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 red chillies, stalks removed, roughly chopped
  • 15 dried chillies, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes before using
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of ground turmeric
  • 3 tbsp of ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp of chilli powder
  • 50g of shrimp paste, (the Malaysian/Indonesian blocks of shrimp paste are best, otherwise use Thai gapi shrimp paste)

Homemade chicken stock

  • 2l water
  • 1 chicken carcass
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 knob of ginger, 5cm long, peeled and roughly sliced
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves

Laksa broth

  • 1.5l chicken stock, preferably homemade (see above)
  • 800g of coconut milk
  • 90g of palm sugar, or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of salt, or less to taste
  • 3 tbsp of tamarind paste
  • 50g of hot mint, also known as laksa leaves, or coriander
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, pounded with a pestle to release the juices

Toppings

  • 24 king prawns, raw, shelled, deveined and cooked in boiling water for 2 minutes
  • 12 deep-fried tofu puffs, halved
  • 120g of green beans, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 120g of beansprouts
  • 400g of fresh egg noodles
  • 3 medium eggs, simmered in water for 6 minutes 25 seconds then cooled in ice water, peeled and halved
  • 50g of hot mint, also known as laksa leaves, or coriander, finely sliced

Method

1
To make the laksa paste, blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until they form the consistency of a smooth, fine paste
2
In a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, add a dash of oil and the spice paste, continuously stirring for 30 minutes, until it is a rich dark red/brown colour and the oil separates from the paste. Ideally, leave for at least 24 hours in the fridge for the fried paste to develop maximum flavour before using it to make the broth
3
If making your own chicken stock, add all of the ingredients to a large pan and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Simmer on a low heat for 90 minutes before straining (you will need 1.5l of stock to make the broth)
4
Add the laksa broth ingredients to a large saucepan with the fried spice paste. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the hot mint (or coriander) and the lemongrass, and adjust the seasoning with salt and sugar to taste
5
Add the tofu puffs to the broth so that they soak up the flavour for 10 minutes
6
While the laksa broth is simmering, blanch the following in boiling water one after the other: the beansprouts for 30 seconds, the green beans for 3 minutes and the prawns for 90 seconds. Refresh each ingredient in iced water to halt the cooking process, then drain
7
Blanch each portion of egg noodles in boiling water for 10 seconds before dividing between 6 bowls
8
Top the noodles with the beansprouts, green beans and prawns, then pour the hot laksa broth into each of the bowls with 4 halved tofu puffs per serving. Finish with a pinch of the shredded hot mint on top and half a soft-boiled egg.