spicy comfort in a bowl
Rainy nights always seems to call for something special to warm the tummy. Since last night saw a heavy downpour, I was hankering for something hot and spicy. Ever since I got my latest Nigel Slater cookbook aka Tender (he's my food hero with his fast, simple and great food philosophy), I've been dying to try his new pumpkin laksa. I've made his previous laksa from Kitchen Diaries that became a bright orange and red tomato spectacle.
For my version, it was super spicy bird's eye chillies, an unusual pairing of Binchotan charcoal noodles and sweet butternut pumpkin. The verdict was a slurpworthy, tongue numbing and most importantly tummy warming meal!! Even the cats were staring at me, when I slurped it down loudly. Gorgeous stuff that just perked up my mid-week blues!
Nigel Slater's Pumpkin Laksa (adapted from Tender, part 1)
3-4 bird's eye chillies
2 cloves garlic
3cm fresh young ginger
2 stalks lemongrass
5 to 6 coriander roots, washed
a handful coriander leaves
2 tablespoons sesame oil
350g pumpkin, seeded, skin peeled and chopped to pieces
600ml chicken or vegetable stock
400ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
juice of 1 lime
100g Binchotan charcoal noodles, cooked
coriander and mint leaves for garnish
To make spice paste: Blend all ingredients together and set aside.
To prepare pumpkin: Steam until softened. Set aside.
To prepare laksa: Heat up a pan over medium heat. Add spice paste and fry until fragrant. Add stock, coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, cooked pumpkin and noodles. Simmer briefly. Ladle into bowls and top with coriander and mint leaves.