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{Day 6} Laksa lemak from scratch, with prawns and tofu

Malaysian in origins, Laksa Lemak is one of my favourite comfort foods and the paste is easy to make at home and mush more fragrant than the store-bought varieties. Laksa can be served with a variety of traditional toppings like eggs, prawns, homemade fish balls, hard-boiled or perfectly soft-boiled eggs, shredded chicken and all sorts of greens. 

For my first complete meal in the Royal Selangor Get Your Jelly On challenge , I present you my favourite dinner, lunch or even breakfast soup: Malaysian laksa lemak. You probably thought, how does one present laksa in a jelly cone – is it jellified? I considered it, but couldn’t quite visualise it… so I used the mould to give my vermicelli a fancy shape.

Rich in colour and fragrance the soup has a great depth of flavours that lingers on after every spoonful and all you want to do is dive in for another sip. I like my laksa spicy, I think it needs to be. And while I like a little extra lime juice in mine and often use wheat angel hair spaghetti instead of rice vermicelli or mee (egg noodles), I stick with the traditional fillings of prawns, tofu, shredded chicken, and sometimes hard or soft-boiled egg. I also like to add some steamed greens to the mix just to pad it out and make it more nutritious.

Since for me laksa lemak is a comfort food, I like to spend a little extra time in the kitchen to craft the paste from scratch, about 10 minutes extra. I find the flavours of this paste quite good and the level of spice which I like to be around 7/10 can be easily adjusted to cater for everyone. And then there is the lemak, or coconut milk, which lends the soup an exotic flavour, tones down the heat a little and makes the broth more voluminous.

My mouth is watering already, luckily I have some leftovers for breakfast!

{Day 6} Laksa lemak from scratch, with prawns and tofu
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There are a lot if ingredients, but it's more or less one of those throw everything together recipes. I love it because it contains no additives, preservatives or MSG often found in pre-made laksa pastes. Plus both the ingredients and flavours can be adjusted for spiciness and various allergies or dietary requirements. Laksa can be served with a variety of traditional toppings like eggs, prawns, homemade fish balls, hard-boiled or soft-boiled eggs, shredded chicken and all sorts of greens. Feel free to add the noodles straight to the soup and cook for 3-5 minutes if you're not too fussed about the presentation.
Servings Prep Time
2 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
{Day 6} Laksa lemak from scratch, with prawns and tofu
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
There are a lot if ingredients, but it's more or less one of those throw everything together recipes. I love it because it contains no additives, preservatives or MSG often found in pre-made laksa pastes. Plus both the ingredients and flavours can be adjusted for spiciness and various allergies or dietary requirements. Laksa can be served with a variety of traditional toppings like eggs, prawns, homemade fish balls, hard-boiled or soft-boiled eggs, shredded chicken and all sorts of greens. Feel free to add the noodles straight to the soup and cook for 3-5 minutes if you're not too fussed about the presentation.
Servings Prep Time
2 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
For the laksa paste:
  • 8 coriander seeds
  • 3 cm long piece of fresh galangal julienned
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp dried tumeric
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 2 long red chilli or to taste, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp paste
  • 2 sprigs spring onion chopped finely
For the laksa:
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 420 ml can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp brown sugar optional
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves julienned
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves and sprigs
  • 1/2 large lime juiced
  • 1/2 red long chilli seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil for frying
To make the noodles:
  • 2 cups rice vermicelli noodles cooked
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves cilantro
  • a few slices red long chilli chopped finely
To serve:
  • 10 large cooked and peeled prawns
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 small lime halved
  • pieces (hard boiled eggtofu puffs, shredded chicken, small fish or tofu)
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place coriander seeds in a medium saucepan (the same as you will use for the curry). Place saucepan over medium heat and toast for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and into a mortar and pestle. Add all remaining paste ingredients and grind into a smooth paste.
  2. Heat oil in the saucepan and add paste, stir for 2 minutes. Add stock, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, sugar and juice of half a lime, inlcuding the skin. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes for the flavours to develop. Add coconut milk to the sauce and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove lime and kaffir lime leaves with a slotted spoon and discard. Return laksa to the heat just before serving.
  3. Prepare rice vermicelli according to packet instructions. Once ready, add chopped coriander and chilli to the noodles and mix.
  4. Spray the inside of the moulds with some oil spray. Place moulds into mugs so that they are upright. Fill moulds with noodles then flip the moulds into the base of wide-bottomed bowls and release the noodles. Pour piping hot laksa all around the noodles, add cooked prawns (sliced cooked egg, tofu or tofu puffs) and garnish with some fresh bean sprouts and extra coriander if you wish. Squeeze half a small lime onto the noodles, then mix it all in and enjoy!
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44 comments

Sneh | Cook Republic October 6, 2011 at 8:36 am

OMG that looks delicious Martyna!! Beautiful colours. I love how you have shaped your noodles, brilliant!

Reply
Wholesome Cook October 6, 2011 at 9:03 am

Thank you Sneh 🙂

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Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 6, 2011 at 8:52 am

This looks fantastic. I will miss these cones when they’re gone!

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Wholesome Cook October 6, 2011 at 9:03 am

I know! What will I do with myself???

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sportsglutton October 6, 2011 at 9:02 am

I’m usually not one who tends to eat tofu, but this looks so good I might make an exception.

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Wholesome Cook October 6, 2011 at 9:04 am

I’m with you, not the greatest fan but it’s great for this soup as it’s spongy and takes on all the lovely flavour which then busrts in your mouth!

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mademoiselle délicieuse October 6, 2011 at 9:09 am

Love the presentation and the creative use of this mould! I’m thinking cone-shaped rice with Hainan chicken might be a good idea too.

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Wholesome Cook October 6, 2011 at 9:26 am

Oh yes!!! But shhh… we don’t want to alert the others 😛

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Toni October 6, 2011 at 9:35 am

This looks like it’s about to become my favourite breakfast!

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Nic October 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

No additives has my vote, plus it looks delicious!

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gertrude October 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

There is a lot work making a dish like this but it is all worth it when you slurp it all up. I like the little specks of green and red on the cone vermicelli.

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Wholesome Cook October 6, 2011 at 10:02 am

You’re completely right Gertrude. When I was brainstorming the dish I thought the noodles would look plain so why not add the herbs to the noodles for an added dazzle 🙂

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ChopinandMysaucepan October 6, 2011 at 10:39 am

Nice one Martyna, laksa is our favourite too. Love the presentation of your dish.

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Ninazsyafinaz October 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

Im been trying to dieting myself on the pass few week and really watch up on my calories intake..I was looking for a low fat recipe and BUMMM…you give me an idea with this..this one look yummy and delicious..easy to make..Thank you for sharing.:)

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Iron Chef Shellie October 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I’m loving how creative you are! Can’t wait to see what else you come up with 🙂

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Jun October 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I love. I love laksa. The vermicelli cone is very pretty. I love how you add some green specs of coriander on it.

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sara (Belly Rumbles) October 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm

That looks delicious and what a great idea to use the mould that way.

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Sharni October 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Oh my! Your creations are incredible, you are a very skilled cook and have amazing imagination. Your creativity amazes me every day as do your phots. Delicious take on the Malaysain classic.

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Three-Cookies October 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Nice one again. I love nasi lemak and I have tried laksa but I don’t think I have tried laksa lemak, and definitely not the mould version:) Creative use of the mould yet again

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chilliandmint October 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm

This is one stunning dish. I can’t wait to try it out. Definitely my kind of food. Great photos as well. I love tofu – am slightly addicted to the dish Ma Po Tofu at the moment.

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Sissi October 7, 2011 at 12:09 am

This dish looks better than most of what I had even in the most expensive restaurants. I would have never thought of shaping noodles (and I think no one has). It’s an excellent idea!
Why I haven’t seen your recipe before my lunch? I have all the ingredients (of course I don’t have the cone to create this shape).

Reply
movita October 7, 2011 at 12:57 am

Oh my. That looks so incredibly tasty. It’s only 11 am in my part of the world, and I’m dying for lunch already! Thanks for the inspiration…

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leaf (the indolent cook) October 7, 2011 at 1:32 am

I love the presentation of this one. What a gorgeous laksa.

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Geni - Sweet and Crumby October 7, 2011 at 2:26 am

This dish looks like it belongs at the fanciest five star restaurant. All of your photos are so gorgeous!

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mycookinghut October 7, 2011 at 4:21 am

What a lovely dish of laksa!

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TC October 7, 2011 at 7:15 am

It looks like a white Christmas tree of yumminess. lol!

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rsmacaalay October 8, 2011 at 6:59 am

Wow this is a truly exceptional presentation

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Edyta October 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Can you believe I never tried laksa?? I like your recipe. good pictures too, I can see the cone mould.

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Roxana B October 10, 2011 at 5:03 am

Mmmmm. Those prawns looks delicious.

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Joshua Hudson October 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

Very creative!

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Vivian - vxdollface October 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm

mm looks yummy, great presentation

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Sandy October 14, 2011 at 6:43 am

Looks like a little white Christmas tree!

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Zoe Roberts October 14, 2011 at 7:54 am

I’m not a far of tofu but if this was put in front of me at the dinner table I would definitely not turn it away

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Zoe Roberts October 14, 2011 at 7:55 am

I’m not a fan of tofu but if this was put in front of me at the dinner table I would definitely not turn it away

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Amber October 15, 2011 at 2:51 am

Gorgeous way to use the tofu, the the prawns are making my mouth water!

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Sarah O. October 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I’ve never heard of laksa, but I love all things edible and Asian-inspired, I’ll have to give it a try!

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Mary October 17, 2011 at 9:00 am

I’ve never had — well, at least intentionally — tofu. Looks yum, prepared this way!

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jasmine1485 October 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm

The end result looks like a bowl full of art (not to mention flavour!) I’ve never actually tried laksa, but I’m a big fan of prawns 🙂

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Lenna (veganlenna) October 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I have never seen a meal like this! Looks wonderful! All those flavours must result in a very delicious meal.

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Jessy (squeezetheday) October 21, 2011 at 6:25 am

Love your photography!

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Ming October 25, 2011 at 4:22 am

My mom would love this, she loves laksa. And the way you made the noodles, artistic!

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Sharn October 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Laksa is one of my favourite comfort foods too. For people with Eastern European ancestry I would’ve thought that was unusual (I’m Ukranian), but there you go! And you’ve got to go the prawns and tofu! 🙂

Reply
vivek November 2, 2011 at 6:21 am

Looks great!

Reply
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