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Serves 6

3 tblspns vegetable oil

300g fresh Australian prawn meat

3 chicken thighs, bone out, diced 

1L chicken or fish stock 

2 garlic cloves

2cm piece fresh turmeric, chopped

5 cm galangal roughly, chopped

4 candle nuts or 10 raw cashew nuts

1 tblspn shrimp paste (optional)

4cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped

2 shallots, roughly chopped

3 lemongrass stalks, roughly chopped  

6 long red chillies, roughly chopped

1 can coconut milk 400ml

fish sauce, to taste

200g fresh rice vermicelli noodles

200g Hokkien noodles

100g bean sprouts

150g pkt fried tofu, cut into chunks

Fresh coriander, to garnish

1 lime, cut into wedges

Finely sliced red chilli, to garnish

Wrap the shrimp paste in foil and place in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
To make the paste, combine the garlic, turmeric, chilli, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, shallot, candlenut, shrimp paste with a good pinch of salt and pound in a mortar and pestle or blend in a food processor until a paste.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the Laksa paste, cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes until the oils split and the mix is soft and has darkened a little in colour. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, 1 tsp fish sauce and the diced chicken and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the prawn meat and cook for a few minutes, add the tofu. Adjust seasoning to taste with lime juice, a little sugar and fish sauce.

Pour boiling water onto the noodles and leave for a few minutes. Drain and place into serving bowls. Alternatively place into soup base and simmer for a few extra minutes. Spoon over the laksa and garnish with beansprouts coriander and fresh chilli. Serve with extra lime on the side.

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