Here’s a dish I’ve made over and over again simply because it’s so easy to throw together, and it’s incredibly delicious to boot. I’ve made this for my Parisian hosts and they loved it, even if the level of spice was a new sensation for them.
Much credit goes to Prima’s instant Singapore laksa box mix, which also makes this a really convenient option for when you’re studying abroad and missing home. The only component I don’t quite like about the box mix is the sambal, which is a little on the oily and overly spicy side for me. Missing the subtle sweetness and smokiness of a crazy blend of spices slow cooked over a low fire for hours. I usually end up substituting my own, but it’s not necessary to have this with the sambal.
Making this also gives you an excuse to wake up early and go to the market to pick out the best seafood (as if you needed one!). In London, we made this along with lemony roasted broccolini. A dreamy combination.
You will need:
300-400g dried linguine (spaghetti, or any other similar pasta, will also work fine)
1 box Prima Laksa Box Mix
1 small bowl of water
1 medium squid, cleaned and sliced into rings
15 medium prawns (to your liking), washed and trimmed, with shells on for more flavour
1 tsp minced garlic (optional)
7-8 kaffir lime leaves
Sambal and lime, to serve (optional)
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, heat a wok or a large frying pan (about 9″ across). Pour water from the bowl until the base of the pan is covered, to half an inch in height.
2. When water is heated, add 2/3 the powdered coconut milk from the Prima box. If you would like it less spicy, add the whole packet. Stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the powder.
3. When powder has dissolved, add the laksa paste from the Prima box along with the garlic, if using. Stir with a wooden spoon until the paste has been fully incorporated. Add the prawns and lime leaves.
4. When prawns have begun to turn pink, add the squid. Let the pan simmer for 5 minutes, until prawns and squid have been cooked through. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of water, until cooked just a minute before al dente, according to instructions on the packet.
5. When the laksa sauce is ready, turn the heat off but leave the pan on the stove. The sauce may look watery at this point, but it’s okay. When the pasta is ready, drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the drained pasta to the laksa sauce. Toss to coat evenly.
6. Let stand for about 15 minutes, or up to 30 minutes, before serving. The sauce will thicken as the water evaporates, reducing it to a nice consistency. Add some of the reserve pasta water if you feel that the pasta is too dry. Serve with sambal or lime, if preferred.