For the laksa stock:
• 175g fresh red chillies
• 15 dried chillies, soaked in hot water
• 4 stalks lemongrass
• 300g shallots
• 200g garlic
• 20g galangal (lengkuas)
• 6 candlenuts (buah keras)
• 30g dried shrimp paste (belacan), roasted
• 200ml cooking oil
• 160g coriander powder
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
• 125g dried prawns, soaked for 10 minutes and finely pounded
• 250g prawns
• 250g fish balls
• 500g cockles
• 10 pieces tamarind peel (asam keping)
• 2 litres coconut milk (from 2 coconuts)
• 1-2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
• 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
• 500g fresh laksa noodles, blanched in hot water and drained
Handful of mint leaves
100g bean sprouts, tailed and scalded
1 big onion, sliced finely
1/2 pineapple, cored and sliced finely
1 cucumber, cored and sliced finely
1 wild ginger bud, sliced fine...
1) To make the laksa stock: Pound or blend the spice paste ingredients to a smooth paste, adding just enough water to work the blades.
2) Heat the oil in heavy pot and fry the spice paste, coriander powder and pepper until the oil separates from the paste, about 8 minutes.
3) Add the dried prawns and continue frying for about 3 minutes. Add the fish balls, cockles and prawns, tamarind peel and coconut milk. Cook over a medium to low flame to avoid curdling the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes.
4) Season to taste with sugar and salt. If you prefer the taste to be more sour, mix 20g tamarind paste (asam jawa) with 50ml water and add to the laksa stock. If the gravy is too thick, add in a cup of warm water (optional).
5) To assemble, put some noodles in a bowl. Ladle the hot laksa stock over and drizzle some prawn paste on it(Black shrimp paste (har koe), mixed with a little hot water
). Top with all the garnish ingredients, as desired. Squeeze the calamansi lime juice over the laksa, if using. Add some cut bird’s eye chillies if you like it extra hot.