A spicy prawn laksa, made from scratch
To make the paste, roughly chop up the shallots, galangal, and lemongrass, and then just blitz all the ingredients in a blender. Cook the puree on the lowest heat possible, you can add more oil to aide this but remember there is oil in the paste already. Fry the paste for at least 20 minutes, it should look dark reddish brown. To make up to 2 bowls of laksa, you will only need about 2 tbsp of the finished paste, the rest will keep in the fridge for weeks.
Heat up the 2 tbsp of laksa paste in a pot and pour in the prawn stock, let simmer for 10 minutes. If you don’t want tiny bits of galangal or lemongrass floating around in your soup, you can sift the broth at this stage, the flavours should be with the broth already after 10 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and bring it back up to a simmer (a rolling boil will ruin the texture of the coconut milk a bit) and at this point you can just chuck in all the rest of the ingredients, a quick minute or 2 should suffice for everything to warm up or cook a bit, most of the ingredients at this stage are pre-cooked anyway.
Recipe: Dagan's own.
For the Laksa paste
15-30 Dried chillies – rehydrated and drained (takes roughly 30 mins)
150g Dried prawns - rehydrated and drained (takes roughly 30 mins)
1 pc Galangal – about 1 inch, peeled
4-6 stalks Lemongrass – fibrous outer layer(s) removed, chop off the roots and only use the bottom 2-3 inches
1 tbsp shrimp paste
4-6 Betel nuts – these can be easily substituted by Brazil nuts, use 2-3 only
150 ml oil
For the broth
250ml Coconut milk
500ml Prawn broth – make it if you can, but cubes are absolutely fine
3-4 slices of fried fish cakes – should be able to find in most Asian supermarkets.
3-4 cubes of deep fried tofu – same as above.
As many prawns as you’d like
1 soft boiled egg
1 portion of egg noodles
A few fresh cockles (optional)