So delicious! This Malaysian/Indonesian recipe is definitely worth the work. Galangal can be found in some Asian markets. I could not find any fresh galangal, so I substituted ginger. The spiciness of all the chiles is cooled down by the coconut milk.
1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
1 tablespoon fresh galangal (chopped)
6 dried red chillies (soaked for 20 mins)
2 fresh hot red chillies (chopped)
3 macadamia nuts (pounded)
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
3 ounces shallots (or onion)
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
2 tablespoons peanut oil
5 1/4 cups coconut milk
1 lemon grass stalk (trimmed and bruised at end)
1 1/4 pound shrimp (whole, with shells)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 lemon (juice of)
1 teaspoon sugar
fresh coriander leaves
fresh mint leaves
2 cups vermicelli noodles (cooked)
store-bought crispy onions
To make the laksa paste:
Grind together all the ingredients for 20 minutes or so in a pestle and mortar until smooth. Set aside.
To make the soup:
Shell the shrimp, removing the tails also. Set the flesh aside. Place all the shells into a large saucepan with 2 1/4 cups water Add the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Pass through a fine seive retaining the liquid. Discard the shells.
Heat a wok with the oil then add the laksa paste together with the lemon grass stalks and fry until the oils begin to separate. Tip in all the coconut milk, the shrimp stock and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Drop in the shrimp and simmer for 3-4 minutes until cooked. Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and lemon juice to your taste.
Arrange about 1 cup of vermicelli noodles in the bottom of a large soup bowl then ladle over plenty of the broth and shrimp. Add a small handful of mint and coriander and a few crispy onions and finished off with a lemon wedge. Serve immediately