This recipe is reprinted with the permission of Peddler Journal, the multicultural food magazine from Hetty McKinnon. The recipe appears in the first issue, themed Chinatown.
In Australia, it is not hard to find a delicious bowl of laksa - Malaysian laksa noodle soups are a staple of shopping centre food courts. This wonderful and nourishing noodle bowl brims with vegetables, noodles and herbs, swimming in a richly aromatic coconut broth.
3 small eschalots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled and sliced
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1 stalk lemongrass (soft white stem only), sliced
2 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
1 tablespoon sriracha
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup (loosely packed) coriander/cilantro leaves
1 can (400ml)) coconut milk
2 cups of vegetable broth
2 curry leaves (dried or fresh)
2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Noodles and toppings
250g (8.8oz) hokkien noodles or rice vermicelli (or combination of both)
100g (3.5oz) tofu puffs or pre-cooked baked tofu
100g (3.5oz) bean sprouts
Garnishes (optional, but recommended)
crispy fried onions
handful of coriander/cilantro leaves
finely sliced red chilli
To make the laksa paste, whiz together the eschalots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, ground coriander, red chilli flakes, sriracha, vegetable oil and coriander. Process this into a smooth paste. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the laksa paste, cooking on low heat for 8-10 minutes, until fragrant. Stir often to prevent burning. Stir in the coconut milk, vegetable broth, curry leaves and season with sea salt and sugar. Continue to simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Squeeze in some lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the noodles and cook according to packet instructions. When the noodles are al dente, drain, refresh in cold water and drain again.
Add the tofu into the broth. Divide the noodles into 2 bowls and pour over the broth. Top with bean sprouts, and any of the garnishes you are using.