Laksa Soup is a Winter Warmer

Laksa-Soup

Laksa-Soup

Ok – I’ve been talking about making this soup forever, and yesterday, it FINALLY happened. As you know, I”m in love with Anthony Bourdain (if I was American, I would vote for him as the next presidential candidate) and on an old episode of No Reservations he goes to Malaysia and has this soup for breakfast. Laksa – what can I say about Laksa? It’s a soup that combines all the wonderful flavours you love about Asian food – Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures and histories and the food there apparently has a similar blend of tastes from throughout the region. Laksa is like Thai soup meets curry and then they had a baby and moved to China. It’s amazing and my hope for my life is that I one day get to eat the authentic version. Ottawa unfortunately is lacking in the Malaysian restaurant department, so I’ve had to reconcile with my own meagre abilities to put a concoction together. As it turns out, it’s not that hard – once you’ve got a few of the vital ingredients (like Laksa paste… kinda integral to the whole thing) which you can get at an Asian supermarket.

Laksa-Soup

Laksa-Soup

So full disclosure. I’ve made two separate trips to the T&T Supermarket to find Laksa paste. It’s apparently not shameful what-so-ever to use commercial Laksa paste (which is a combination of chills, garlic and spices) when you’re making Laksa. In fact all the recipes I read called for the commercial version of the paste.  Anyway, I was a bit overwhelmed with all the different paste varieties at the T&T and the first time I went I left empty handed.  When I went back the second time I was much more determined and I found it in the “South East Asia” section. Not to be overlooked when starring at the “regular” asian section. (I mean it’s an asian supermarket so it wouldn’t be hard to do so).

Laksa-Soup

Laksa-Soup

Laksa-Soup

Laksa-Soup

Laksa-Soup

Laksa Maylasian Soup

Laksa Maylasian Soup

Ingredients

  • 6–7 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4–5 shallots, chopped
  • 5–6 cm piece ginger, chopped
  • 1–2 long red chillies, chopped, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp of Shrimp paste
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil
  • 12 large shrimp, shells removed and reserved
  • 1/3 cup laksa paste
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock or water
  • 400 ml (one can) coconut cream
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • fish sauce, to taste
  • salt
  • two cups of bean sprouts
  • one - handfuls of cilantro
  • 1–2 limes, juiced
  • 200 g dried rice vermicelli noodles

Instructions

  1. Add the garlic, shallots, ginger, shrimp paste and chilli, to a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms.
  2. Place a large saucepan over high heat and add the blended paste to the oil. Fry for 1 minute before adding the laksa paste and then continue to fry for 2–3 minutes until fragrant. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the coconut cream and reduce heat to a simmer. Add sugar and season with fish sauce, salt and lime juice to taste.
  4. In another pot, bring water to the boil and cook the rice noodles as per package instructions. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water.
  5. Add the shrimp to the laksa, turn off the heat and allow to gently poach for 2–3 minutes until cooked through.
  6. To serve, divide the noodles and shrimp and bean sprouts among bowls. Ladle with the broth and garnish with the spring onions, coriander and lime wedges.
http://sparrowinthetreetop.com/food-fare/laksa-soup-is-a-winter-warmer/

Laksa-Soup

  • http://www.betsytransatlantically.blogspot.com/ Betsy Transatlantically

    can I make one request please? I love your recipe posts, but please never ever again put a photo of ginger root next to a photo of coriander. my system can’t handle the shock/disappointment/horror. thank you.
    sincerely,
    someone who loves ginger and hates coriander.

  • http://jaybirdblog.com/ Alicia | Jaybird Blog

    Okay forgive my over the top enthusiasm because I’m on an endorphin high at the moment, but YUMMMM!!!!! That looks so good and perfectly warming like you suggested. Last night I made my first trip to a Korean/Asian market that my roommates are obsessed with and found a ton of ingredients, not just from Korea but from other country’s cuisines too. I’ll have to look for laksa paste next time!

    • http://www.sparrowinthetreetop.com/ Emily Anne

      I’m actually in love with how much variety the Asian market has. I feel duped in comparison with the Independent grocer now. Good luck with your own adventures and thanks for that over the top enthusiasm! Just what I needed today :)

  • http://hemborgwife.wordpress.com/ Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife

    That looks great and I often get confused about ingredients and then put of a meal for ages!