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Laksa Lemak from scratch

Laksa Lemak is a special dish to me. It’s my cousin’s favourite dish, we shared together in Singapore many moons ago. After coming home from vacation he frequently asked me to remake this Laska for him. No one’s mentioned this dish since then. 

Vacations are rare these days. We cannot wait to book our first flight out of here!  If you plan to go visit Malaysia for the first time, but want a sneak preview, try this recipe. Laksa paste can also be found in the local Asian supermarket for those who are short on time. The dish will turn out just as great. Bring the taste of Malaysia right to your kitchen. Enjoy responsibly!

Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 300g unpeeled whole prawns
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 100g dried rice vermicelli 
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 8 fried tofu puffs
  • 80g fish balls
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

Laksa Paste:

  • 5 large dried red chillies
  • 5g dried shrimp
  • 15g tbsp chopped galangal
  • 15g tbsp chopped ginger
  • 15g chopped lemongrass 
  • 50g chopped shallots
  • 10g garlic cloves
  • 2g coriander roots
  • 10g cashew nuts
  • ½  tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Soak the rice vermicelli for 30 minutes. Boil for about 5-10 minute or until cooked. Drain well
  2. Soak the dried red chillies and dried shrimp separately until softened for 15-20 minutes. Preserve the dried red chillies soaking water
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the galangal, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, coriander seeds, dried red chillies and dried shrimp. Stir fry for 5 minutes until fragrant
  4. Transfer the ingredients to a food processor with remaining ingredients for Laksa Paste. Blend until smooth with 2-3 tbsp dried red chillies soaking water
  5. Peel the prawns, preserve the prawn heads and shells. Keep the prawn in the fridge for later use
  6. On the same saucepan. Add the prawn heads and shells and cook for 10 minutes until the shells turn into a deep red colour. Squish the shells and heads with the back of your spoon. Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium-low heat for. Remove the prawn heads and shells. 
  7. Bring the soup back to a boil over high heat. While the soup starts bubbling, add Laksa paste, coconut milk, tofu balls and fish balls, let it boil for 3 minutes. Switch the medium low heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir constantly.
  8. Bring the soup back to a boil again, add the prawn meat, cook for about 3 minutes. 
  9. Seasoning again due to your preference. 
  10. Turn off the heat 
  11. Pour the soup and toppings over the rice vermicelli and serve with some fresh vegetables.  

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