Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Prawn Laksa

This is a very fast dish to make last minute for dinner. Its almost the same as making your regular thai curry with a few twists here and there. 

It is basically a soup, but a very wholesome and filling one. You can always substitute ingredients to suit your needs or just use what you have in your pantry. I've used frozen prawns in this recipe and instead of thai red curry paste I used thai sour curry paste. It is available in the same little plastic box as the regular ones. You can also use Tom Yum paste instead. Kaffir lime leaves can be bought and stored in a Ziploc bag in the freezer for ages. I haven't added any thai red chillies to this dish as I thought the thai paste had enough heat in it.

prawn laksa
Prawn Laksa

fresh ginger, sliced
bamboo shoots canned
1 red capsicum sliced
few sticks of lemon grass
a few (4-5) kaffir lime leaves
1/4 - 1/2 tsp of fish sauce
1 fish or prawn stock cube or  1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp of jaggery or brown sugar
a few fresh prawns deveined (or frozen)
1 tsp of thai red curry paste
1/2 lemon
7-8 tbsps. of coconut milk powder
fresh basil leaves, washed
1/4 packet of thai rice vermicelli
Spring onions chopped fine for garnishing
Coriander leaves chopped fine for garnishing

Soak the vermicelli in hot water with a teaspoon of salt for about 15 mins.

Heat oil in a casserole. Bruise the lemon grass sticks with a mallot. Then add them to the oil and fry for a little bit. I find that frying the lemon grass sticks releases all their flavor. Add in the ginger and sauté. Then add in the curry paste. Give it a good stir. Now add the cube or just plain salt. Add the jaggery , fish sauce, and squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon.

Prepare the coconut milk by dissolving it 1 cup of water. Add more powder to water, if you would like more gravy. It needs to be soupy. Add the coconut milk to the dish on a medium heat and let it cook for 10 mins. Now add in the prawns.

Always cook any fish in a curry for not more than 7 mins or it will be overdone. Once prawns turn opaque in colour they are cooked.

After 7 mins, add in the red capsicum slices, bamboo shoots and kaffir lime leaves. Always add kaffir lime leaves at the end or they make the dish bitter. Drain the rice vermicelli and add to the casserole.

Throw in a handful of torn basil leaves.

Serve hot in bowls and garnish with spring onions and freshly chopped coriander leaves.