Asian cooking can be a little bit tricky but I promise this is a remarkably easy recipe which you'll come back to time and time again. The cooking time is minimal and you can have these delicious bowls of goodness on the table in around 20 minutes, which doesn't hurt either! If you've ever visited Asia you'll be accustomed to the large bowls of soup they offer so I felt quite strongly that my bowls should be equally giant, it is soup after all! Monkfish is a wonderfully meaty fish which I love in soups and the skin on prawns add a theatrical element to the dish. Fish was the obvious choice for me, but you can easily substitute for chicken, beef or pork. Equally the variety of fish is totally up to you, so if you have some haddock or cod you need to use up, throw it right in!
Makes 2 giant bowls
Ingredients for the laksa paste
3 long red chilli, deseeded if preferred
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3cm piece of ginger
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 sticks of lemongrass, outer layer discarded
1 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
50g ground almonds
1/2 tsp turmeric
Ground nut oil
Ingredients for the soup
180g cooked prawns with shells on
200g monkfish or similar white fish, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
400ml coconut milk
500ml fish stock
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
200g flat rice noodles, or alternative
Fresh lime, to serve
Fresh chilli, to serve
Fresh coriander, to serve
Bean sprouts, optional
Start by making the laksa paste. Roughly chop the chilli, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and onion. Transfer to a food processor and blitz until minced. Now add the nam pla, ground almonds, turmeric and 2 tbsp ground nut oil. Process until you have a roughly textured paste, adding more nut oil if necessary. Place in a bowl and put to one side. This paste can be stored in the fridge for up to a week in a sealed
When you're ready to start cooking place a large pan on the hob and heat with a glug of ground nut oil over a medium flame. Add 5 tbsp of laksa paste and the Sriracha sauce, sauté for a minute before adding the pepper slices. Cook for 2 minutes stirring often. Now add the coconut milk and fish stock, gently simmer for 5 minutes.
While the soup is bubbling away this is a good time to prepare your noodles. I used dried flat rice noodles which need to be blanched in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Check the directions of yours and leave them to cook while you finish the soup.
Taste the soup for seasoning; lime for sourness and fish sauce for saltiness. Add the raw fish to the pan, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the cooked prawns and cover for 1 minute to warm them through.
Drain the noodles and divide between bowls. Pour the soup over the noodles, evenly distributing the fish. Dress with fresh chilli, lime, coriander and extra Sriracha, if you like it hot!