Prawn Laksa Lemak

Prawn Laksa Lemak

There are as many different versions of laksa as there are cooks, every Singaporean and Malaysian adds their own spin and there are distinct regional variations. Not all laksas contain coconut milk, but laksa lemak always does. Laksa lemak originated around the Straits of Malacca and lemak, meaning ‘creamy’ in Malay, indicates the rich coconut milk-based soup best known in Australia and Singapore. It’s a great base for seafood, like this prawn laksa lemak. Any crustacean works well, including bugs, rock lobster and marron. You could also use large chunks of thick fish; they may fall apart a little once they’re cooked but it’ll still taste delicious. I always have a jar of Ayam laksa paste in the pantry for times when I don’t feel like making my own, it’s a great quality short-cut. Regardless of the seafood or paste you use, laksa lemak is perfect with a glass of Golden Child Manic Monday pinot noir from the Adelaide Hills. See the video below for tips on storing prawns for maximum freshness.

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 6 medium green prawns, peeled and deveined
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 270ml coconut milk (don’t shake the can)
  • Laksa Paste
  • 350ml water
  • 50g vermicelli noodles
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • Small handful Thai basil leaves
  • Small handful coriander leaves
  • Small handful bean sprouts, tailed
  • Chilli paste such as sambal oelek or Sambal Goreng, for serving
Method
  1. Place prawns on the chopping board belly down and cut in half lengthways. Set aside.
  2. Place oil in a wok, add a tablespoon or so of the thick coconut cream from the top of the coconut milk if there is any, and place over high heat.
  3. When oil is hot, add Laksa Paste and stir-fry for 3–5 minutes, until it smells fragrant and darkens slightly (careful it will spit).
  4. Add water and remaining coconut milk and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, pour boiling water over noodles and set aside for about 20 minutes, until soft. Drain and set aside to keep warm.
  6. Stir prawn into the soup in the wok, remove from heat, cover and set aside for about 3 minutes.
  7. Divide noodles between 2 deep bowls, add green onion.
  8. Stir most of the lime juice and most of the soy sauce through the soup, taste and add the remainder if you like.
  9. Ladle prawn laksa lemak over the noodles. Top with Thai basil, coriander, bean sprouts, and chilli paste and serve.

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How To Store & Boil Prawns

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