To my mind, this magnificent dish is the Asian answer to the Mediterranean bouillabaisse and bourride. I know it looks a little complicated, but it is well worth the effort involved. The combination of ingredients is infinitely variable and you could, for instance, throw in a handful of shrimps if you had some, too. It’s probably a good idea to read my notes before you begin to prepare your Laksa.
Cook the sliced onion for about 5 minutes until golden and crispy. Lift out and set aside. Now add a further tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook the chopped onions and garlic for 2–3 minutes. Pop in the nuts, cumin, coriander, chillies, shrimp paste, and rempah or curry paste. Stir well and cook over a medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, sugar and seasonings. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan or wok and stir-fry the chicken for 3–4 minutes. Chuck in the beansprouts and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
Divide the noodles between 4 deep bowls. Add some fried sliced onion to each one. Top with the chicken, beansprouts and beancurd. Pour over the hot sauce. Garnish with the spring onions, coriander and chilli.
© 1994 Keith Floyd estate. All rights reserved.