Signature curry laksa

Signature curry laksa

Signature curry laksa

Serves Serves 6
DifficultyNot too tricky
Recipe From

Sambal Shiok

By Mandy Yin
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  • 150 ml (scant ⅔ cup) oil
  • 300 g (10½oz) onion , roughly chopped
  • 8 cm (3in) ginger , roughly chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 15 dried chillies , soaked in hot water for 30 minutes before using and then drained
  • 1½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1½ tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons chilli powder
  • 25 g (1 tablespoon) shrimp paste
  • 1.7 litres (7¾ cups) chicken stock (bouillon)
  • 800 ml (3½ cups) coconut milk
  • 70 g (2½oz) good-quality caramelized palm sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt , (or less), to taste
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 50 g (1¾oz) bunch of laksa leaves, or mint or coriander (cilantro) as a substitute
  • 2 lemongrass stalks , cut in half then pounded lightly with a pestle to bruise
  • 6 free-range eggs
  • 12 deep-fried tofu puffs , cut into half
  • 120 g (4¼oz) green beans , cut into 5cm (2in) lengths
  • 200 g (7oz) beansprouts
  • 24 king prawns (jumbo shrimp) , deshelled and deveined
  • 600 g (1lb 5oz) fresh egg noodles
  • 1 handful of laksa leaves, or mint or coriander (cilantro) leaves, finely sliced, to garnish
Tap For Method
Recipe From

Sambal Shiok

By Mandy Yin
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Blend all of the spice paste ingredients into the consistency of a fine purée. In a large non-stick frying pan over a medium–low heat, cook the spice paste, continuously stirring for 20 minutes, until it is a rich, dark red-brown colour and the oil separates from the paste. Ideally leave for at least 24 hours in the fridge for the fried paste to develop maximum flavour before using it to make the broth.

Add the laksa broth ingredients to a large saucepan along with the fried spice paste. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently on the lowest heat for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, then remove the laksa leaves/mint/coriander and lemongrass, and adjust the seasoning (the salt and sugar), to taste. Add the tofu puffs to the broth for 10 minutes so that they soak up the flavour.

I have often been asked how to boil a soft-boiled egg like we do at the restaurant as an additional topping for our laksa. We use medium-sized eggs at room temperature. Start by bringing 8cm (3in) of water up to boil in a saucepan. Lower the eggs into the water with a slotted spoon and turn down the heat so it is at a rolling boil. Set a timer for 6½ minutes for soft-boiled or 7½ minutes for hard-boiled. Once the time is up, immediately take the eggs out, put in a deep bowl of cold water and leave them for 2 minutes to stop the cooking. It is easiest to peel the eggs in water as the water helps to get between the egg’s membrane and the shell. Slice in half for prettiness.

Fill another saucepan with water and bring to the boil.

Whilst the laksa broth is simmering, blanch the following in boiling water one after the other: beansprouts for 10 seconds, green beans for 3 minutes and prawns for 90 seconds. Refresh the beansprouts and beans in cold water immediately after taking out of the boiling water (to stop them cooking in the residual heat), then drain. Remember to allow the water to come back up to the boil before starting to blanch a new ingredient.

Finally, blanch the egg noodles for 10 seconds and drain well before distributing among the bowls. Portion everything out into the bowls ready for serving – the beansprouts, green beans and prawns. Pour the hot laksa broth into each of the bowls with 4 halved tofu puffs per serving. Place the boiled egg halves on top and finish with sliced laksa leaves, mint or coriander.


If you would like to make the vegan version, replace the shrimp paste with 1 tablespoon of miso paste and 1 tablespoon of tomato purée, and use vegetable instead of chicken stock. Go wild with your imagination in terms of vegan toppings – at the restaurant we char thin slices of aubergine and small florets of broccoli in the oven before lightly salting them.

If you can find them, laksa leaves (ask for rau ram or hot mint in Vietnamese supermarkets) add a distinctive fragrance to the dish and take me back to my childhood.

Recipe From

Sambal Shiok

By Mandy Yin