- 10-12 Bird’s Eye chillies
- 4-5 sticks lemon grass – lower half, white part, cut into fine slices OR 5 tablespoons drained lemongrass from jar
- 1 small piece turmeric, peeled and diced
- 1 small piece galangal (lengkuas), peeled and diced
- 2 ginger flower stalks (bunga kantan)
- 2/3 block belecan, about 160 grams
- 3/4 cup diced shallots (can substitute with onions)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1.5 litres water
- 1 bunch laksa or vietnamese mint leaves (daun kesom), washed
- 1/3 cup dried tamarind (asam), soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and then drained
- 4-5 tablespoons tamarind (asam) juice
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 large cans sardines in tomato sauce
- 1 large pack rice vermicelli, cooked according to instructions
- 1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, de-eyed, and cut into shreds
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- Bunch fresh mint, washed
- 1 red onion or 2 shallots, peeled and sliced very finely
- Few teaspoons of Hae ko, a thick, sweet Shrimp paste, to garnish (optional)
- Blend all ingredients for paste until finely ground and mud like.
- To make soup, heat up a large non stick pot and add cooking oil.
- Add paste and cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently, for around eight minutes so paste ‘splits’ and separates from the oil.
- Add 1.5 litres water, laksa leaves, dried tamarind, tamarind juice, sugar and soy sauce and bring to the boil.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if you like, adding more tamarind juice for a more sour taste, more sugar for a sweeter taste and/or more light soy sauce for a saltier taste.
- Add sardines in tomato sauce, break the fish up gently with a ladle and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes.
- To serve, use chopsticks to put rice noodles in a bowl and spoon over steaming hot soup and fish.
- Garnish with pineapple, cucumber, mint and shallots.
- Add a spoonful of hae ko if you like for a stronger shrimp flavour.
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