Prawn Curry Laksa (Kari Laksa Udang)
I have taught this dish many times at my cookery classes and it has never failed to impress my students and become an instant hit. The blend of spices and heat from the dried chillies, together with the coconut milk, makes the dish creamy and aromatically spicy.
- 150g vermicelli noodles
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 6 tbsp vegetable oil
- 12 raw king prawns, peeled
- 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 100ml coconut milk
- 100g spinach, cut into 10cm strips
- 6 pieces of ready-made fried spongy tofu, each cut into 4
- 100g beansprouts
- 1 lime, juice
- For the spice paste:
- 8 dried chillies, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
- 3 shallots
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2.5cm fresh ginger
- 2 stalks lemongrass (use bottom half only)
- 1/2 tsp shrimp paste, dry-toasted (or fish sauce)
- For the ground spice mix:
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 green cardamon pods
1. Puree all the paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
2. Put the vermicelli noodles into a bowl and add 1 litre of boiling water. Blanch for 2 minutes, then drain. Transfer the noodles into a bowl of ice-cold water for 3 minutes, then drain again and set aside.
3. In a frying pan, dry-toast the spice mix ingredients on a medium heat for 30 seconds, then transfer to a spice grinder and grinder until fine.
4. In a bowl, mix together thoroughly the blended spice paste, ground spice mix and ground turmeric.
5. Heat a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the oil and saute the spice paste mix for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes, until they have turned pink and are cooked. Add the salt, sugar and coconut milk, along with 750ml of water, and bring to the boil.
6. Reduce the heat to low and add the spinach, tofu, beansprouts, drained noodles and lime juice. Cook for 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and serve.