Some of my fondest memories of my trip around Southeast Asia involve food. There was that cooking lesson in Thailand – which opened my eyes to the idea of quick cooking if you chop the vegetables small enough.
I discovered the hawker markets in Singapore. These treasure troves of food had everything and anything I could possible want to eat under one roof. It was such a treat to wander through the market stall, learning about new eats before sitting down at one of the many packed tables to tuck in.
Then on to my first taste of durian, mangosteen and roti chanai in the streets of Malaysia. There was also the little courtyard where they served crispy pork and rice that was sooooo good that we ate there every day for a week. It was also where I had I my first ever taste of laksa noodle soup – and I was hooked. Laksa is simply a Malaysian soup in which rice noodles are served in a spiced curry coconut sauce, cooked along with things like chicken or prawns and vegetables. My idea of heaven on a plate.
I tend to make laksa noodle soup a lot in colder months, mostly throwing in some leftover roasted vegetables such as butternut squash, courgettes and onions. Pretty much anything goes. Recently I have been adding in gammon which a) gives it a really nice flavour and b) allows me to indulge aka use up at least one of the 10 packs of spoiltpig gammon in my freezer. I have made this laksa noodle soup using their smoked and unsmoked gammon and it worked well with both. And when served piled high with bean sprouts, fresh coriander, lemon and chillies, it really, really hits the spot. Just check out the video I created for it.
PS – did you know it is National Curry Week? Yeap, there is such a thing which translates to the perfect excuse for whipping up a batch of laksa noodles. See, I got your back.
PPS – spoiltpig are running a rather fab on-pack competition. It gives you guys the chance to win a weekend break courtesy of Holiday Cottages. Everyone who enters will also save £50 on their first Holiday Cottages booking. To enter, you need to input your unique code found on promotional packs of spoiltpig. Watch out for these packs which, will hit the supermarkets on the week starting 7th November. Good luck.
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- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 200 g (7oz) unsmoked gammon diced
- 75 g (2.6oz) laksa paste
- 200 ml (0.8 cup) reduced fat coconut milk
- 450 ml (1.9 cups) hot chicken stock
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 150 g (5.3oz) green beans
- 200 g (7oz) mangetout snow peas
- 12 cherry tomatoes halved
- 4 spring onions sliced
- 1 lime sliced
- 1 mild chilli deseeded and sliced
- Handful of fresh coriander cilantro
- Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat and fry the diced gammon for about 2 mins until done. Remove the gammon pieces and set aside.
- Add laksa paste to the pot and stir-fry for 1 min until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock and soy sauce bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 mins.
- Add the beans and simmer for 5 mins, then add the mangetout, gammon and tomatoes and simmer for a further 2 mins.
- Ladle the gammon laksa into bowls and top with spring onions, limes, chilli and coriander.
- Tips - add some rice noodles for a more substantial meal.