Made from scratch, the curry paste for this soup is quick and delicious and can be made ahead up to 3 days (or even longer if frozen). Get creative with the garnishes! Almost any vegetables sliced thin are great-julienned cucumber or carrot, mint or basil leaves, crushed peanuts or cashews, broccoli, purple cabbage or precooked squash.
1stalkLemongrass, white part only sliced into small rounds
1-3Thai Red ChilisDepending on heat level desired
1BunchCilantro Stems (Save The Leafy Tops For Garnish)
11" pieceGinger, Peeled And Grated
11" pieceTurmeric, Peeled And GratedYou can substitute 1 tsp dry ground turmeric if desired
2tbspCoconut SugarOr regular granulated sugar
1canCoconut MilkRegular, 400 ml
1lbFresh Snapper, Cut Into 2" Pieces, Any Bones RemovedOr other firm fleshed Oceanwise cod
2Baby Bok Choy, Cut In Half LengthwiseOr other asian green
Garnishes to serve
300gramsRice Noodles, Prepared According To Package
Leftover Cilantro Leaves
1Lime, Cut Into 4 Wedges
For the paste, first process the cashews very finely in a food processor (or high powered blender). The smaller they are the better as this will help add "thickness" or body to the soup. Once chopped, add garlic, lemongrass, shallot, chilis, and cilantro stalks and process until they are a coarse paste then add remaining ingredients and process again until smoothly combined. (It should be a rough paste)
Heat a soup pot on medium-low heat, add oil and then saute laksa paste (reserve 1 tbsp to stir in at end) until it turns slightly darker and cooks through. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
Add coconut milk and stir until well combined, add stock, water, fish sauce and remaining tbsp of Laksa paste and bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt or fish sauce as desired. Meanwhile fill 4 large soup bowls about ½ full with prepared rice noodles and set aside.
Add fish and simmer until just cooked, approximately 3-5 minutes. 1 minute before it is finished, add in the bok choy and let cook just until wilted.
Spoon fish, broth and bok choy over noodles in bowls and garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro and lime wedges. Bring a jar of sambal oelek to the table so everyone can season to taste and enjoy :-)