Coconut Laksa – (almost) from scratch

Coconut Laksa.

Coconut Laksa.

So, my second recipe post and I must admit one of my favourite recipes. I’ve re-created the taste to be similar to a pack of Saucy Spice Co Laksa which I loved (even though a little too spicy for my taste buds). These guys make amazing pre-packed spice packs for home cooking. Admittedly, buying the pack is way easier, but I like the control over the taste. The soup has a warming, snuggly richness, which comforts me in winter and right now in summer (Southern Hemisphere – Christmas on the beach-style HA!) I add a tad more veggies and it becomes this delicious rich, but actually light tasting (yeah – I know) summer soup. Hard to beat that – uh? Either way – be prepared for a ton of ingredients – this is going to take a while to type!

RECIPE:
Coconut Laksa

Rich, savory and sumptuous soup with lots of fresh greens, reds and yellows! Feel free to play around with the in-season veggies! Since the preparation takes a bit longer, I usually make a lot of it and store portions in the freezer. To keep the veggies fresh, I basically add them just before making the portions – they cook in the microwave later! The last bit that I’m going to eat right after cooking then stays in the pot for just long enough to cook them a little bit!
Serves 6 (I usually make 12 and struggle with the “small” 6 L casserole).
Preparation: 40 min
Inactive time: – min
Cooking time: 20 min

  • Large pan or skillet
  • Large casserole pot (6 L gives you good room)
  • Bowls
  • Chopping boards and knives

Ingredients

Meat

  • 300 g chicken thighs (or fish)
  • peanut oil for frying (not necessary with fish)

Dry Roasting Spices

  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 Tbsp paprika powder, sweet (more for decoration)
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ground
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder, hot
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, level
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/2 Tbsp peanut oil for frying (or as needed)

Fresh Roasting Spices

  • 1 Tbsp ginger, freshly grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 onion, red, chopped into chunks
  • 3 Tbsp peanut oil for frying (or as needed)

Other Spices

  • 3 lime leaves (2 kaffir lime leaves or-2 lemon myrtle leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped (about 1 stems worth of leaves, more for decoration)

Soup

  • 1 can of coconut cream (about 400 mL)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp sugar, brown (I use dark muscovado)
  • 1.5 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp almond meal (to thicken the soup)
  • 500 mL water
  • 400 g noodles, fresh (I prefer Udon, Hokkien works though)
  • chicken stock powder to taste
    additionally if you like (I mostly leave them out):
  • 50 g rice noodles, thin, water-soaked

Variable Fresh Ingredients (suggestion)

  • 50 g oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 50 g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 100 g tofu, puffed, chopped in bite-sized chunks
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bok-choy (chinese cabbage), small, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 capsicum (bell pepper), red, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 capsicum (bell pepper), yellow, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 bunch kai-lan (Chinese broccoli), chopped into small chunks

Procedure

Meat/Fish

  1. Remove excess fat from the chicken and fry it in the peanut oil until nicely brown.
  2. Keep the chicken in a bowl, including the juices.

If using fish, prepare bite-sized portions of the fish without skin and bones for later use.

Spices

  1. Measure all dry roasting spices and combine in a bowl.
  2. Prepare the fresh roasting spices by grating ginger, crushing garlic and chopping the onion and combining them with the oil in a separate bowl.
  3. Roast the dry spices in the pan used for the chicken with peanut oil for at least 2-3 min. This will bring out their flavour stronger and enhance their impact on the dish. Some pages suggest frying up to 15 or even 20 min, but mine always burned that way and lost flavour. Roast them to your liking, but rather roast them a little less than too much.
  4. Add the fresh roasting spices and fry, until the onion is glaze or lightly brown.
  5. Continue with soup.

Soup

  1. When the spices are done, add the can of coconut cream and dissolve.
  2. Transfer the coconut with spices into the casserole pot.
  3. Add the meat with juices (not the fish) as well as the lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and almond meal to the casserole pot.
  4. Add the other spices.
  5. Let the casserole pot come to a simmer.

Variable fresh ingredients (and fish)

  1. While the soup is coming to a simmer, prepare the fresh ingredients.
  2. Run the noodles under warm water, separate them and add them to the soup to simmer. If you want to add rice noodles, let them soak for the indicated time in water, then drain and set aside.
  3. Next, chop all of the fresh vegetables into thin slices or small pieces which cook quickly.
  4. Add the rice noodles, and if you use fish, add the fish pieces now.
  5. Let the soup simmer for about 3 minutes or so. Make sure the fish is done if you use it.
  6. Then add all the vegetables, add chicken stock powder to taste and stir.
  7. Let the soup ever so briefly come to a simmer.
  8. All of the soup which is not going to be eaten right now should come off the stove now and separated into portions.
  9. Keep the rest in the pot and let simmer for about 3 min or until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. I personally like them crunchy!
  10. Serve decorated with some extra cilantro and paprika powder.
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