I was given a huge bag of prawns recently and was flicking through my books to find a recipe when I came across Prawn Laksa. A curry rich with Malaysian spices and coconut that can be made in just 20 minutes.
The only ingredients I didn’t have were the lemongrass and the mangetout but a quick visit to the local supermarket soon brought these to hand. I adapted the recipe very slightly to use what I had in the cupboard/fridge, ie I used dried rice noodles and I had a large bag of baby spinach leaves in the fridge. The bone broth I always make in bulk so I had an ample supply in the freezer. I even had fresh coriander still growing in pots outside which shows we haven’t had much cold weather yet!
An alternative to kelp or rice noodles could be Courgette noodles or even Cucumber noodles; both would work well with this delicious dish.
There is something very special about cooking Asian-inspired food – the aromas in the kitchen are absolutely divine.
80g noodles *see note
1 tablespoon peanuts
1 large onion
A thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
1 red chilli
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 lemongrass, each chopped into 4 pieces and roughly bashed OR zest of 1 unwaxed lime or ½ unwaxed lemon (I used lemongrass as we love the flavour)
2 teaspoon ground turmeric
100ml bone broth, fish stock or vegetable stock
1 tin of full-fat coconut milk
150g fresh or frozen prawns (unpeeled)
100g rainbow chard or other greens (I used baby spinach leaves)
1 tablespoon tamari
Juice of 1 lime or ½ lemon
Handful of fresh coriander
In a large dry pan toast the peanuts over a gentle heat until golden. Set aside.
Blend the onion, ginger chilli, garlic and coriander seeds in a blender or food processor to make a paste.
Using the same pan, heat up the coconut oil and add the paste, the chopped and roughly bashed lemongrass or lime zest and the turmeric and fry for a few minutes.
Add the broth and coconut milk and turn up the heat to a medium simmer.
Add the mangetout and prawns to the pan and cook for 2 – 3 minutes depending on the size of the prawns (to make sure they are cooked). Add the noodles and stir through leaving on a very low heat. Add the greens, the tamari, lime juice and fresh coriander and stir through the laksa and check for seasoning.
Serve sprinkled with more fresh coriander and the peanuts. (some people prefer to fish out the lemongrass or, if you like, just eat around it)
For a special effect, serve with a couple of big prawns, shell-on especially if serving to guests.
This was an absolutely delicious curry; wonderful flavours and textures. The Malaysian spices are warm but not overly so. I do have to admit that it took a bit longer than 20 minutes to make but once I had everything out of the cupboards, it didn’t take long at all. Well worth making and a definite to make again in the future.
*the original recipe suggested kelp noodles which should be soaked in warm water for ten minutes then rinsed. I had dried rice noodles in my cupboard which worked perfectly and I stirred them in once the prawns and mangetout were cooked through.
Recipe adapted from the book The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley.