laksa

Summer may not be the usual season for laksa but Manchester has been living up to its reputation with constant rain. This really is a beautiful dish in taste if not looks. The origin of laksa is not known but it’s somewhere within South-East Asia. I’m avoiding European food until the Euros are over now – I don’t want to be posting an Italian recipe if England have just been beaten by them in the Euros – fingers crossed for tomorrow. (I still can’t get over the fact that one of the Italian players is called Immobile). I subbed some of the noodles with konjac noodles – a few too many pub trips watching the football has not been great for my waistline but konjac noodles work really well within the right recipe and the broth here is so packed with flavour you don’t notice. The recipe was from ‘Nigel Slater – ‘Tender’ ‘, my favourite British celebrity chef (not counting the actual hilarity of Gordan Ramsey’s USA Kitchen Nightmares’).

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 350g squash (I used a mixture of squash and sweet potato – ready chopped)
  • coriander and mint leaves as a garnish
  • 2 birds eye chillis (or others with a 3/5 spice rating)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • thumb sized piece ginger
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (1 tsp paste)
  • 15g coriander leaves (mix of leaves and stalks)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 600ml stock (I used Massel chicken flavoured stock)
  • 1 tin light coconut milk
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 100g noodles

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Spread the cubed squash on a baking tray, season and roast for 25 minutes.

3.) In the meantime, make the paste by peeling the ginger and garlic, chopping the chilli stalks off. Add these to a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder and add the lemongrass (chopped stalks or paste) and 15g coriander. Blitz or pound to a paste – it should be vibrant green. Then add the sesame oil.

4.) Heat a crockpot, add the paste and fry on a low heat for a couple of minutes. In the meantime, make up the stock then add this and the coconut milk to the pan.

5.) Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

6.) Chop up the broccoli.

7.) Add the noodles and broccoli continue to simmer until cooked. Slice the lime in half. Chop up the coriander and mint leaves.

8.) Add the fish sauce, the soy sauce, squeeze in the juice of the lime. Tip in the cubes of squash. Give it a stir then serve in bowls. Garnish with mint and coriander.

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