Recipe For Laksa Lemak

I am going to try and make one dish each week related to the quiz that PinkPolkaDot posts on a Friday. This week, the dish is Laksa which I have taken from my Curry recipe book. The original meaning of the word laksa is fine rice noodels or rice vermicelli, but nowadays, a laksa is a spicy soup made with coconut milk and what ever noodles you fancy, plus chicken prawns, scallops and so on. Lemak literally means ‘fat’ but it should be understood here as rich, lavish and delicious.

Laksa Lemak
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Laksa Lemak

All Rights Reserved: Adapted from Curry page 180


  • 1 block Chinese tofu about 400g
  • 30 - 45 mls apricot kernel oil
  • 16 raw king prawns heads removed, peeled and deveined
  • 5 mls salt
  • 1.2 l chicken or vegetable stock
  • 300 mls coconut milk
  • 225 - 350 g rice vermicelli soaked in hot water in a covered bowl for 5 minutes then drained
  • 115 - 175 g bean sprouts
  • 2 hard boiled eggs quartered

for the paste

  • 1 - 2 large red chillies chopped
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 2 candlenuts chopped or 15mls ground almonds
  • 5 mls chopped fresh root ginger
  • 5 mls chopped galangal
  • 5 mls ground coriander - lightly toast whole coriander and blend it in a coffee grinder do not use the grinder for coffee!
  • 5 mls sea salt
  • 30 mls tamarind water
  • 30 mls groundnut oil

to garmish

  • 30 mls chopped spring onion
  • handful of flat leaf parsley coarsely chopped
  • 30 mls deep-fried shallots


  • make the paste by blending the ingredients together until smooth
  • using a large non stick pan, cook on a moderate heat for 4 minutes, stirring occassionaly
  • remove and set aside
  • cut the tofu into quarters, then cut each quarter into quarters again (handle these carefully as they break easily)
  • heat the oil in the pan and fry the tofu pieces, turning them over several times, until they are slightly coloured
  • drain on kitchen paper and set aside
  • rub the prawns with the salt and set aside
  • bring the stock to the boil
  • stir in the paste and cook for 2 minutes
  • add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside
  • pour the coconut milk into the stock and bring to the boil and simmer for 4 - 5 minutes
  • while you are doing this, place the noodles, prawns and tofu into bowls
  • then add the beansprouts and eggs
  • adjust the seasoning of the soup and bring it to a rolling boil, then ladle the soup into the bowls
  • garnish and serve immediately

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