King prawn Nyonya curry laksa

King prawn Nyonya curry laksa
  • Main
  • medium
  • 6
  • 1 hour 20 minutes, plus 24 hours resting time for the spice paste to mature and an extra 90 minutes if making your own chicken stock



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This is my curry laksa, with a strong chilli and shrimp kick. We tend to save cooking laksa for special occasions due to its time-consuming method and many ingredients, especially if cooking the chicken stock from scratch. If you can find them, laksa leaves (also known as rau ram or hot mint (Polygonum Odoratum)) adds a distinctive fragrance to the dish and takes me back to my childhood growing up in a Nyonya household. Like any good curry, the broth develops in flavour if left overnight.

To make the laksa paste, blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until they form the consistency of a smooth, fine paste
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
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)
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
Add the tofu puffs to the broth so that they soak up the flavour for 10 minutes
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
Blanch each portion of egg noodles in boiling water for 10 seconds before dividing between 6 bowls
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.
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