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The Laksa Paste
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
4 Thai shallots, finely sliced
4 tbsp coconut milk
50g ginger, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 stalks lemongrass, bruised and finely chopped
20 dried chillies, boiled, then soaked overnight
2 tsp salt
The Noodle Soup
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tins of coconut water
1l cloudy vegetable stock
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 tsp palm sugar
4-6 tbsp soy sauce
pinches of salt
pinches of black pepper
200g dried vermicelli rice noodles
2 large limes, juiced
chilli powder, oil or flakes, to taste
200g bean sprouts
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
additional salt / soy to taste
½ bunch of coriander leaves to garnish
To make the paste: Place the spices, chillies, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and salt into a pestle and mortar and pound to a rough paste. Then add the turmeric and shallots and continue to pound to a smooth paste. Finally add the coconut milk and blend.
To make the soup: Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pan and cook the laksa paste for one minute until it deepens in colour.
Stir in the coconut milk, stock, kaffir lime leaves, sugar and soy sauce.
Bring the soup to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the flavour deepens.
To finish the soup, add the vermicelli rice noodles and stir while cooking for 2 minutes or until noodles are cooked.
Season the soup with lime juice, (or salt and dried chilli flakes if preferred), add the bean sprouts and spring onions and stir once.
Divide the noodles evenly among in 2 bowls and ladle over the soup.
Serve with a garnish of coriander leaves, spring onion and extra lime wedges on the side.