Quick and Easy Prawn Laksa

  • For the paste:
  • 2 dried chillies, rehydrated in warm water
  • 3 stalks fresh lemon grass, tender parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh red chillies, chopped
  • 2.5cm fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp shrimp paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • For the Laksa filling:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 10ml fish sauce
  • 500g prawns
  • ½ cup fresh coriander sprigs
  • Lime juice to taste
  • To finish:
  • 150g cooked rice noodles
  • ¾ cup fresh bean sprouts
  • Extra springs of fresh coriander

To make the Laksa paste:

1. Place all the ingredients in a mortar and pound away until you have a nice smooth paste. If you really have to, you can blend it in a food processor.

For the Laksa:

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the spice paste and fry very gently over a low heat, stirring all the time, so that you don’t burn it.

2. Add a little stock to stop it sticking, and keep stirring for about 5 minutes to release all that wonderful flavour.

3. Add the rest of the stock and simmer for 10 minutes, nice and gently.

4. Add the coconut milk and bring it all to a boil.

5. Turn the heat down and stir in the fish sauce, letting the pot simmer for 5 minutes or so.

6. Give it a taste and add a little salt if it needs it.

7. Add the prawns and let this cook gently for 10 minutes or until the prawns have turned orange.

8. Stir in the coriander and lime juice.

9. Get 4 deep bowls ready, divide up the noodles and prawns into the bowls and ladle in the delicious broth. Top with bean sprouts and a fresh sprig of coriander.

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