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Laksa Lemak

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Serves: 4
Ingredients:

300g / 10 1/2 oz straight-to-wok rice noodles
50g / 1 3/4 oz unsalted macadamias
1 tablespoon oil
400ml / 28 fl oz tinned reduced fat coconut milk
400ml / 28 fl oz tinned light evaporated milk
80ml  / 2 1/2 fl oz lime juice
115g / 4 oz bean sprouts, trimmed
20 large raw prawns, peeled and deveined
16 large scallops, cleaned
handful Vietnamese mint, shredded, a few leaves left whole to garnish
1/2 Lebanese cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced

For the Paste
3 red chillies, seeded and chopped
2 stems lemon grass
small knob fresh ginger, grated
4 red Asian shallots, peeled
3 teaspoons shrimp paste
3 teaspoons ground turmeric

Method:

To make the paste, put all the paste ingredients, plus 1 tablespoon water, into a food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, finely chop by hand and mix well.

Put the nuts in a saucepan and dry-roast over medium heat, shaking the pan, until golden. Transfer to a plate.

Heat the oil in the same saucepan, add the prepared paste and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and evaporated milk, then gently simmer for 10 minutes, or until it thickens slightly. Roughly chop the nuts.

When the coconut milk mixture is ready, add the lime juice and three-quarters of the bean sprouts to the pan. Season with salt, bring back to a simmer, then add the prawns and scallops and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the prawns have turned pink. Add the shredded mint and the noodles. Mix the whole mint leaves with the chopped nuts and cucumber.

Ladle into 4 deep bowls, then sprinkle with the remaining bean sprouts and the mint and cucumber mixture.


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