Here’s a simple, heart-warming Asian dish that’s perfect for cold, rainy days.
A few days ago, it was cool (rarely gets cold in Manila) and rainy, I craved for Seafood Laksa. I love the flavors of this soup – the fresh fragrance of coriander and lemon-grass, the spice of curry, and the creaminess of coconut milk.
Because it has glass noodles (sotanghon), seafood laksa is quite filling! If you’re vegetarian, simply keep the seafood out. It will still be as flavorful – and nourishing.
The list of ingredients may seem long and daunting. But believe me, it’s really so simple.
Seafood Laksa Recipe
Ingredients: (Serves about 6 persons)
2 tbsp canola/vegetable oil (Go for canola – it’s healthier!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 med onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp laksa paste (If you can’t find it, tomyum paste will do because they have similar flavors, though the latter is less spicy.)
1-2 finger chillies/labuyo, chopped (Keep this out if you want a mild laksa. However, if you’re using tomyum paste instead of laksa paste, you might want to add a bit of chili.)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 small carrot, sliced into 2″ strips
1 can 400-ml coconut milk
3-4 cups water or broth
2 tbsp fish sauce/patis
salt, to taste
1 cup assorted seafood, washed, drained, chopped into bite-size pieces (squid, shrimps, crabsticks, fish fillet, mussels. I buy the “Cold Storage” brand frozen seafood pack.)
1 stalk onion leeks, chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander/cilantro/“wansoy”, chopped
1 piece 2″-thick cube firm tofu/tokwa
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
200 grams glass noodles/vermicelli/sotanghon, soaked in cold water
hot water for noodles
1. Prepare tofu: Slice into 1/2″-thick pieces. Fry until golden brown. Set aside to drain and cool, then cut into medium-size cubes.
2. Heat oil in a deep pan. Saute garlic, onions, onion leeks, and chillies. Add laksa paste, and reduce heat to medium. Add bean sprouts and carrots. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
3. Add fish sauce, water or broth. Cover pan and bring mixture to a boil.
4. While waiting for mixture to boil, prepare glass noodles which have been soaking in cold water. Drain noodles and place in a bowl. Pour hot water over noodles and cover for about 3 minutes, so it will cook lightly. Drain noodles of the hot water, and arrange in individual bowls. Set aside.
5. Now back to the stove… After the mixture boils, add the coconut milk, stir and let simmer over low heat. (High heat will curdle the coconut milk.)
6. Add the seafood, and half of the chopped coriander. Adjust taste by adding salt, more fish sauce, or laksa paste. Let soup simmer for a few more minutes to cook seafood through. Now the soup is done!
7. Arrange the bowls: ladle the seafood soup over noodles; top with fried tofu, peanuts, and chopped coriander. Enjoy your laksa!