spiced pork laksa

If like me you have been suffering from the many coughs, colds and runny nose inducing symptoms that have been going around for what seems like months, then this week’s dish may well perk you up. Laksa is a steaming spicy bowl of goodness that hails from Southeast Asia. Where exactly seems more difficult to pin down – there are versions from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia to name a few, some that use tamarind, coconut milk, fish, chicken and even one called “Katong Laksa” that contained a species of sea turtle that has since become extinct.

To bring us back to familiar ingredients I used pork mince for this dish, it’s lean, affordable and healthy. Making the laksa paste is simple when you have all the ingredients but you can buy a pre-made paste from supermarkets, which cuts down the preparation time and makes it a good mid-week staple. One thing all the guises of laksa have in common is a good hit of chilli spice to chase away the cold and reinvigorate yourself and I’d take Laksa over Lemsip any day. Enjoy.


The Method

serves 4

3 red chillies
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2tsp paprika
1tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp ground turmeric
1 small onion peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, chopped
3cm piece galangal or ginger, peeled, chopped
20g cashew nuts
1tbsp fish sauce
1tbsp veg oil

300g pork mince
500ml chicken stock
400ml coconut milk
2 limes
1tsp fish sauce
200g cooked glass or rice noodles
100g bean sprouts
4 spring onions
small bunch coriander, chopped
2 red chillies, thinly sliced

1. Place all paste ingredients in a food processor and blitz till smooth.
2. In a saucepan cook the paste over a medium flame until fragrant, add the pork mince and cook whilst stirring for 5 -10 mins.
3. Add chicken stock and fish sauce to pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins, skim and discard any froth that rises to the top.
4. Reduce heat, add noodles, bean sprouts and spring onion simmer for 2 minutes then add coconut milk and half the coriander and juice of one lime.
5. Serve in bowls garnished with coriander, chopped chilli and a wedge of lime.