This is show-stopper of a meal – with a wonderful blend of tastes and aromas – and very beautiful.
Laksa recipes can differ hugely – and I’ve made my version with far more peanuts than any laksa I’ve ever eaten. I think it gives it a wonderfully nutty base to the fiery tastes. Don’t be put off by the idea of making your own paste – it’s actually amazingly quick and easy. You simply put the ingredients in a mini-blender or mini-food processor and whiz – and you have a beautifully fresh, aromatic paste which is worlds away from the ready-made pastes you can buy.
gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, seed-free
Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 20 minutes Serves 4 ⅓
- 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup olive oil or rapeseed oil
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 150g/5½oz/1 cup unsalted peanuts
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 750ml/26fl oz/3 cups coconut cream
- 500ml/17fl oz/2 cups stock made from gluten-, yeast- and dairy-free stock powder
- 4 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 200g/7oz rice noodles
- 100g/3½oz beansprouts
- 250g/9oz cooked large, king prawns
- 1 large handful coriander leaves, chopped
- 1 handful mint leaves, chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped, to serve
- 2 spring onions, white part finely sliced, to serve
- 2 limes, quartered, to serve
- 2 large red chillies, halved
- 3 sticks lemongrass, cut into thirds
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2.5cm/1in piece root ginger, peeled
- 4 shallots, quartered
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp shrimp paste
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Pour the oil into a small saucepan and heat over a medium-high heat until hot. Add the sliced shallots and fry for 5–6 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on kitchen paper.
- Heat a wok over a medium-high heat until hot. Add the peanuts and dry-fry for 3–4 minutes until starting to turn brown, stirring frequently. Remove from the pan, put into the bowl of a mini-blender and process until finely chopped. Remove and leave to one side.
- Put the ingredients for the paste into the bowl of the mini-blender or mini-food processor and blend thoroughly until the mixture becomes a paste.
- Pour the oil into the wok and heat over a medium heat until hot. Add the paste and stir in the chopped peanuts. Fry for 2–3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the coconut cream, stock and fish sauce and stir well, whisking if necessary, to mix the coconut cream in thoroughly. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the rice noodles in a large, heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to stand for 5 minutes until soft. Tip into a colander and rinse well under cold running water.
- Add the rice noodles to the wok, along with the beansprouts and prawns, stir in thoroughly and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the coriander and mint and stir in gently. Serve immediately with the chopped chilli, spring onions and fried shallots sprinkled over, and served with lime quarters.