Sunday, 6 March 2011

Seafood laksa with rice noodles

A few years ago I worked in Leeds, and in moving into my Yorkshire home-from-home I was delighted to discover that Amie (the Cornish girl I was sharing with) was as hooked on noodles and oriental food as I am.

Trips to little Japanese restaurants for ramen noodles in miso broth, and Thai restaurants for rice noodles in tom yum soup became an almost weekly occurrence. We'd sit and gorge ourselves on noodles so much that we physically couldn't move, and getting out of the restaurants sometimes proved a bit of a trauma (greedy girls).

Anyway, it seems fitting that I cook this laksa and dedicate it to Amie and happy memories of our northern noodly pursuits, my lovely I hope you enjoy it.

For two:
1 can coconut milk
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon whole coriander seed
2 lemongrass stalks, ends removed and any hard outer leaves discarded
One large red onion
A small handful of macadamia / peanuts / cashews
One large chunk ginger, peeled
1 large red chilli
One large chunk galangal, peeled
1 fat garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 large teaspoon shrimp paste
A handful each fresh mint and coriander
Two tablespoons palm sugar
1 salmon fillet, diced
A handful cooked mussels
10-15 raw king prawns, deveined
Rice noodles cooked as per instructions and left to one side
Groundnut oil for frying
400mls water / light chicken or pork stock
Shards of cucumber to serve

- In a food processor blitz together the onions, turmeric, tamarind, shrimp paste, coriander seed, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, galangal, chilli, nuts and a little groundnut oil to form a coarse paste
- Fry the paste in a saucepan in a little oil, for around 10 minutes - don't let it catch in the pan
- Add the coconut milk, water, palm sugar and stir, them put a lid on and turn the heat to low, leaving for 15 minutes
- Boil the kettle to reheat the noodles
- After 15 minutes strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve into another saucepan (on a low-med heat) so the sauce is nice and smooth - discard all the bits caught in the sieve
- Test the sauce to see what it needs now, typically you might want more tamarind or palm sugar, or both - so season with these two things to get it how you like, it should be rich and creamy with a hint of salt and sweetness
- Place your salmon, prawns and mussels into the sauce and put the lid on, cook for around 3-4 minutes, once the prawns have turned pink all the fish will be ready. When there are two minutes to go, pour the boiling water over the rice noodles to reheat them
- Take the pan off the heat and stir the herbs through. Place noodles into bowls then ladle the laksa on top and finish with some shards of cold cucumber
- Eat


  1. This looks like a perfect supper to blow the cobwebs away. Yum!

  2. Hi ! I just found your blog - I am making this tonight, fabulous thanks xx

  3. Ah let me know how you get on March 17th! x