Prawn Laksa

Sunday, October 9, 2011
Serves 4


1 kg large raw prawns
2 stalks lemon grass
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp shrimp paste
400ml coconut milk
3 tsp soft brown or grated palm sugar
250g dried rice noodles or vermicelli
sliced cucumber, bean sprouts and chopped fresh mint, to garnish


  1. Peel and devein the prawns, keeping the tails intact. Reserve the heads and shells. Bruise the lemon grass with the side of a knife.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan, add the prawn heads and shells and stir until they turn bright orange. Pour in 1 litre of water, bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the stock into a clean pan and discard the shells.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a wok. Add the onion, curry and shrimp pastes and the lemon grass and stir well for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and sugar and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes, or until pink. Remove and set aside.
  5. Cook the noodles, divide among the bowls and top with the prawns. Bring the soup back to the boil, remove the lemon grass and pour over the noodles. Sprinkle over the cucumber, bean sprouts and mint.

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