This is another favourite from the weekend markets here in Darwin, each stall has their own recipe; all equally delicious. I wouldn’t ever claim this to be anywhere near an authentic replica, I used a lot of what I had on hand, and also tried to use a little less oil compared to the traditional recipes. I love this dish for that reason though, so long as you have a few of the key elements, you will no doubt be able to produce a delicious meal.
Another awesome part about this dish is that half of the elements don’t even get added until the very end, so, by putting all of these ingredients out on the table, you not only make for a colourful and exciting table full of food, you also allow people to top their soups in whichever way they choose. This is a great way of catering for a mix of, meat eaters, seafood lovers/haters, and vegetarians. To the list of toppers I have included in this recipe, you could also add; shredded chicken, boiled egg, cucumber, carrot, cabbage…anything you think might be nice.
One more awesome thing…. it’s incredibly delicious as a cold dish the next day; if you manage to keep any leftovers that is!
1 1/2 tbs dried shrimp, soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 mins
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 long red chillies
2 birdseye chillies
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, diced
1 red onion, peeled, diced
2 stalks lemongrass, white and pale green part, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled, diced
10 roasted cashews
2 tsp roasted shrimp paste
1 tsp peanut oil
In a frying pan, over medium high heat, dry fry the spices for about 1-2mins, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind into powder.
Place the spices and the soaked shrimp, along with the soaking water, and all the remaining ingredients into a small food processor or a bowl deep enough to process with a stick blender. Process until a smooth paste forms.
Transfer to a jar and keep refrigerated. It will last about 1 -2 weeks.
2 tbs peanut oil
12 large green prawns, peeled (reserved), de-viened, tails left on
1/2 cup laksa paste
6 cups fish/chicken/or vegetable stock
400ml coconut cream
250g firm tofu, cubed
250g green beans, trimmed and halved
1 tsp coconut sugar
1 tbs fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper
500g firm white fish fillet, cut into 4cm cubes
200g vermicelli noodles
200g wide rice noodles
Bean sprouts, spring onion, chilli, coriander, mint, thai basil, fried shallots, roasted peanuts, lime wedges, to serve
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Fry the reserved prawn shells for about 3 mins, until they turn red. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil in the saucepan as possible.
Add the laksa paste to the saucepan and cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins.
Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the coconut cream and bring to the simmer. Add the tofu, beans, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and some salt and pepper and allow to simmer for 10-15mins.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the rice noodles and vermicelli, cooking the thicker ones first for about 2 mins, then adding the vermicelli for about 1 min. Strain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Add the fish and prawns to the laksa. Turn off the heat and allow to gently cook through for about 5-8mins.
Divide the noodles between the serving bowls. Top with the laksa, ensuring even distribution of ingredients.
Top with remaining ingredients as desired.