Friday, 30 September 2011



1 pound medium prawns
2 cups shallots, peeled
20 dried chilies, softened in hot water
1 tablespoon belacan (shrimp paste)
3 tablespoons dried shrimp, soaked for a while in water to soften
10 buah keras (candlenuts)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon roasted coriander powder
2 stalks lemon grass, white stem portion, crushed
4 tablespoons oil
4 cups coconut milk
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound dried thick rice noodles
9 ounces bean sprouts, scalded
7 ounces dried glass noodles, scalded and drained
4 fresh red chilies, pounded
Salt to taste
1 cucumber, peeled, cored and shredded
4 fried fishcakes, sliced
1 bunch daun kesom (laksa leaves), finely shredded
3 ounces see hum (fresh cockles), optional

1...Boil a pot of water and cook prawns until they turn pink. Remove, shell prawns when cool, and reserve prawns and stock. Process shallots, chilies, belacan, dried shrimp, and buah keras in a chopper until fine. Add powdered spices to the paste.
2...Heat oil in a pot large enough for the gravy. Brown spice paste and add lemon grass stalks, adding a little water from time to time to prevent burning, until oil rises to the surface. Add prawn stock, followed by coconut milk, stirring all the time to prevent curdling until it comes to boil. Season with salt, sugar, and pepper to taste.
3...Boil some water in another pot and boil dried noodles until they are al dente. Drain and divide noodles among bowls. Top with a little softened glass noodles and bean sprouts. Garnish with a prawn, fishcake slices, shredded cucumber and daun kesom. Pour over hot coconut gravy and serve with a dollop of pounded chili mixed with a pinch of salt.

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