A spicy seafood curry with an incredible fresh flavour.
|For the paste|
|50g||ginger, peeled and roughly chopped|
|5||garlic cloves, roughly chopped|
|3||shallots, roughly chopped|
|8-12||mild dried chillies, roughly chopped and rehydrated with boiling water|
|40g||dried shrimp, rehydrated with boiling water|
|3 tbsps||fish sauce|
|3 tsps||shrimp paste (optional)|
|1 tsp||cayenne pepper|
|2 tsps||coriander seeds|
|2||lemongrass stems, chopped|
|For the soup|
|handful||fresh mint, stems and leaves intact|
|handful||fresh coriander, stems and leaves intact|
|1 litre||fish stock|
|2||lemongrass stems, split lengthways|
|3 tbsps||brown sugar|
|2 tbsps||vegetable oil|
|3||spring onions, roughly chopped|
1. Combine all the paste ingredients in a blender, aside from any excess water from the rehydrated chillies and shrimp, then blitz.
2. Place a large pan over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once hot, reduce to a low heat then add the paste. Fry for 30 minutes, stirring continuously, until the paste has a deep reddish-brown colour. Loosen the paste with a dash of water from time to time if the paste starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
3. Next add the fish stock and mix through so that there are no clumps of paste. Raise the heat to a simmer and add the lemongrass. Partially cover with a lid and cook down for 10 minutes.
4. Slowly add the coconut milk and mix until an even consistency forms. Add the brown sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Cook for 15 minutes until the fatty oils begin to separate.
5. Add the fresh coriander and mint, cook for 3 minutes then carefully remove using a ladle and sieve. Discard the used herbs.
6. Fill a second pan with boiling water and place over a medium heat. Add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes, strain once done.
7. While you wait for the noodles, add the prawns to the soup and cook for 2 minutes.
8. Portion the noodles into serving bowls, then cover with the soup and any optional toppings to your taste.
If shrimp paste cannot be found, replace with 2 extra tablespoons of fish sauce.
Enhance the flavour and presentation further by topping with extra coriander, mint, fresh chilli and cashew nuts.