Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Seafood Curry Laksa by Ekachai

I have previously written about Ekachai’s fun, inexpensive and authentic restaurants serving up selected pan-asian street food dishes. Set up by friends Thomas Tjong and Sidney Tsang, their aim is to bring a little taste of their home countries in the Far East to the UK. I wrote about them in more detail and posted the recipe to their highly popular Wor Tip dumplings here: http://snigskitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/wor-tip-dumplings-with-pork-and-chinese.html

I keep hearing about how Spring is on its way, but except for a smattering of sunshine, it remains chilly and cold. I do not dare leave the house without gloves or a pashmina/shawl style scarf to keep me toasty. I am still craving comfort food with substance to provide a little internal central heating. Laksa fits the bill perfectly!

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup in the Peranakan cuisine, which is a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine. Laksa consists of rice noodles or rice vermicelli with chicken, prawn or fish, served in spicy soup. This laksa uses seafood, a little indulgent coconut cream and rice vermicelli to make a nutritious and low fat dish which packs a flavour punch.

My only warning is not to wear a white shirt or blouse when you eat the laksa. Delicious as it is, it is prone to tiny little splashes which will cause staining and annoyance. This recipe uses dried turmeric powder, but you could substitute a small piece of fresh root turmeric, peeled and chopped finely. You can find it in a Thai, Chinese or Indian grocers.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Thomas and Sydney for sharing their house recipe.

Seafood Curry Laksa 

Serves 2

Dry Ingredients:

1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp black peppercorns
2 green cardamom pods

Wet Ingredients: 

8 dried chillies, soaked in boiled water for 5 minutes to soften
8 Asian shallots
4 cloves garlic
2cm piece fresh ginger
2 lemongrass stalks
50ml water

Other ingredients:

8 tbsp cooking oil
8 king prawns (shells on)
8 pieces calamari
150g vermicelli noodles, soaked in boiled water for 10 minutes to soften
100g spinach
75g bean sprouts
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp shrimp paste 
750 ml water
1 tsp salt 
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
100ml coconut milk
Juice 1 lime
Small bunch coriander
1 fresh red chilli, sliced

Toast the dry ingredients in a wok until fragrant, then leave aside to cool. Use a pestle and mortar and ground until fine, then set aside

Blend wet ingredients until puréed. 

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together with the turmeric powder, shrimp paste, salt and sugar to form a paste.

Heat the cooking oil and fry the paste until fragrant. Add the water, prawns and calamari. 

Bring to boil and then simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes, before adding the coconut milk and spinach and cooking for a further 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. 

Put the noodles and the bean sprouts in a separate bowl and then pour over the fish sauce. Garnish with lime juice, coriander leaves and sliced chillis. 

Snigdha has not received any incentive, financial or otherwise for this post. This post is not a sponsored post. 

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