Phwoar…..this was good. So good that my Husband declared it the best meal I have ever cooked. I’m not sure I would go quite that far but the aromatic, spicy, homemade paste with slow cooked pork, sweet pumpkin and fresh crunchy beans did raise the bar somewhat. Let us not forget those delicious crunchy toppings that go so well with the tender meat, slippery noodles and creamy broth of a good Laksa. My mouth is watering and this is killing me…….I have got to make this again and soon.
Prep time: 30 Minutes Cooking time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
Peanut oil for frying
1 large brown onion, peeled and halved and sliced top to bottom
2 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
6 Kaffir lime leaves
4 Tbs of Malaysian Curry Paste (See link below)
2 cups of chicken stock
2 x 400ml tins of coconut milk
600gm of Pork Scotch Fillet cut into good chunks
400 gm of Japan or Kent pumpkin, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
300gm of green beans, ends removed and sliced diagonally
3 tbs of fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime (2 if the limes are not very juicy)
1 heaped tbs of brown sugar
1 cup of coriander leaves
250gm of Rice Stick noodles (cooked according to packet instructions)
For the Topping:
1/2 cup of toasted coconut flakes
4 handfuls of bean shoots*
1 lebanese cucumber, very finely sliced with a mandolin or food processor*
2 Kaffir lime leaves, middle vein removed, rolled and very thinly sliced
1 red chilli, finely sliced diagonally
Coriander sprigs for garnish
Lime wedges to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the pumpkin pieces in a lined baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and toss with 1 tablespoon of the curry paste. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until just tender. Remove and set aside for later.
Heat a large pot and add a little peanut oil. Fry the onion until soft and then add the pork and fry until it gets a nice bit of colour on it and then ad the remaining curry paste. Stir continuously to prevent sticking for about a minute or until the aromas of the paste are really strong. Pour in the stock and coconut milk and add the cinnamon sticks, star anise and Kaffir lime leaves. Bring the mixture to a simmer, pop a lid on and allow the to simmer gently for about one hour or until the pork is meltingly tender.
Remove the lid and continue to simmer. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar. Stir to combine and allow the sugar to dissolve before having a taste. Adjust any seasoning if you think it is necessary before adding the pumpkin to the pot and stirring to combine. Simmer for a further 5 minutes until the pumpkin is warmed through and then stir the beans through, allowing them to blanch in the sauce for a few minutes or until lovely and bright green in colour. Stir the coriander leaves through just before serving.
To assemble the Laksa, divide your cooked noodles between four bowls and ladle over the pork, pumpkin, beans and sauce (discard the cinnamon sticks, lime leaves and star anise). Place a nice pile of bean shoots on top and garnish with cucumber slices. Sprinkle over the toasted coconut flakes, chilli slices and shredded kaffir lime leaves and top with coriander sprigs. Serve with fresh lime wedges…….
*I always soak my bean shoots and cucumber in a bowl of ice cold water that I pop in the fridge for half an hour or so. This ensures that they will be deliciously cold and crunchy and this contrasts beautifully with the creamy sauce and richness of the pork. If you don’t have a mandolin, you can always dice your cucumber but it did look really pretty in wafer thin slices.
Leftover Kaffir Lime Leaves? This could be the perfect dish……..