Malaysian Laksa with Prawns, Chicken, & Tofu

Being the fan of Asian cuisine that I am, I bought a book of noodle-based recipes ages ago, and so far the recipes I’ve made from it are delicious. This Malaysian Laksa, aka delicious spicy soup, has got to be one of my favorites, and the fact that the cilantro came fresh from my garden only made it better tonight. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do! The recipe below is my own version; the original comes from Noodles: Reliable Recipes from the Murdoch Books Test Kitchen.

Malaysian Laksa
Prep & Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 6

1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground tumeric
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp ginger (or 1 piece 1x3cm, peeled and roughly chopped)
3 lemongrass stems, white part only, sliced
6 macadamia nuts
4-6 small dried red chilies
1 L (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
2 1/2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 cups (750ml) coconut milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 lb raw medium prawns (shrimp), peeled, deveined, detailed
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 brick firm (or extra-firm) tofu, chopped into small pieces
250g (9 oz) dried rice vermicelli
1 cup bean sprouts
2 handfuls fresh cilantro leaves

Place all spices, onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, macadamias, and chilies into blender; add 1/2 cup stock, blend until smooth. Heat vegetable or canola oil in a pot over medium-low heat; add blended mixture, cook 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining stock (3 1/2 cups); bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 15 minutes until slightly reduced.

Meanwhile, cook prawns, chicken, and tofu; set aside.

Add lime juice, fish sauce, coconut milk, and brown sugar to stock mixture, simmer 5 minutes. Add prawns, chicken, and tofu, cook until warmed through. Do not boil, or cover.

Cook vermicelli noodles according to directions (usually 5 minutes in boiling water); drain and divide among serving bowls. Ladle soup over noodles. Top with bean sprouts, and coriander leaves; serve.

Chicken is optional, as is tofu and prawns. This is an easy recipe to play around with when it comes to what meat you want in it. This is dairy-free, can be nut-free if you remove macadamias, gluten-free, and vegetarian.

S.

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