Around the world in 80 dishes No.24: Malaysia
Wednesday 22 September 2010
Kuala Lumpur curry laksa, by Rick Stein
Ingredients to serve 4
For the soup:
250g raw unpeeled prawns
Vegetable oil, for shallow and deep-frying
200g firm tofu
400ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoons light brown muscovado sugar
100g dried rice vermicelli noodles
200g fresh egg noodles
100g cooked flaked chicken
100g cooked fine green beans
2 hardboiled eggs, thickly sliced
3 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
A handful of mixed mint and coriander leaves
For the laksa spice paste:
3 dried red kashmiri chillies, de-seeded
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and chopped
20g nuts (macadamia, peanuts or cashews)
2 stalks lemongrass, core chopped
3 fat garlic cloves
3cm piece peeled ginger, roughly chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
75g shallots, roughly chopped
2 tsp blachan (shrimp paste)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Sambal oelek, to serve
Peel the prawns, reserving the heads and shells. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, add the heads and shells and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until crisp and golden. Add 1.2 litres of water, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 1 hour until reduced to 750ml.
Heat some oil for deep-frying to 190C. Cut the tofu into 2.4x1cm pieces and drain well on kitchen paper. Deep-fry for 3-4 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Drain on plenty of kitchen paper and set aside.
Strain the prawn stock, and set aside.
For the laksa spice paste, put the dried chillies into a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 20 minutes. Drain and blend to a smooth paste with remaining ingredients in a food processor.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan, and fry the spice paste gently for 2-3 minutes. Add the prawn stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar and one-and-a-half teaspoons of salt, and simmer for 3 minutes.
Drop the rice noodles into boiling water and leave to soak for 2 minutes, then drain. Drop the egg noodles into the same water and leave to heat through for a few seconds. Add the prawns and chicken to the curry soup and simmer for 1 minute. Add the mint and coriander.
Divide the noodles between 4 warmed, deep noodle bowls and top with the bean sprouts, cooked green beans and fried tofu. Ladle over the curry soup. Top each one with some slices of hardboiled egg and spring onions and serve with a spoonful of sambal oelek.
Rick Stein is an ambassador for Malaysia Kitchen, who are organising a Malaysian night market in Trafalgar Square this Friday, 24 Sept
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