Laksa Lemak is a Malay coconut and noodle soup from Malacca. It’s a meal in itself; very rich and spicy and best served in deep bowls with chopsticks and a spoon to slurp up the coconut broth.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Dietary: Vegan, Gluten Free
- 5cm piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1 red chilli, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 stalk lemon grass, finely chopped
- 5cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 banana shallots, finely sliced
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 tin coconut milk (400ml)
- 500ml boiling water
- 2 lime leaves
- 100g baby asparagus spears
- 2 pak choy, washed and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 lime, juiced
- salt to taste
- 200g dried thin flat rice noodles
- 200g plain tofu, sliced into matchsticks
- 100ml sunflower oil for frying the tofu
- 4 spring onions, sliced into rings
- 1 red chilli, finely sliced
- handful of micro herbs such as lemon balm-alternatively use pea shoots
- Start by making the spice paste, blend the galangal, garlic, chilli, lemongrass and turmeric with the salt in a mini food processor to a smooth paste.
- Prepare the garnishes; fry the tofu matchsticks in sunflower oil until golden and crisp, drain on kitchen paper. Slice the spring onions and red chilli.
- To make the noodle soup, heat a large saucepan, add the sunflower oil and fry the banana shallots until soft and translucent.
- Add the spice paste, stir-fry until fragrant and the colour of the paste has turned a shade darker.
- Add the red pepper and stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
- Pour in the coconut milk, water and lime leaves, bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Simmer the rice noodles in a separate pan of boiling water for 2 minutes until tender, then drain.
- Add the asparagus and pak choy to the coconut broth and simmer for a minute.
- Add the sugar, lime juice and salt to taste.
- Divide the cooked rice noodles into 4 deep Chinese bowls. Ladle the laksa broth over the noodles. Top with the fried tofu, spring onions, sliced chillies and finish with a few micro herbs for garnish.
Tasty photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures