Coconut Laksa with Scallops and Green Tea Noodles

A fragrant fish broth packed with sweet and sour Malaysian flavours from Peter Gordon
By Peter Gordon
Coconut Laksa with Scallops and Green Tea Noodles
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 100 g galangal, unpeeled, sliced
  • 50 g ginger, unpeeled, sliced
  • sesame oil, for frying
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced (use more or less to taste)
  • 4 lime leaves
  • 1 small bunches coriander, with roots
  • 2 black cardamom, roughly chopped
  • 4 allspice berries, crushed
  • 2 star anise, broken up
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 200 g fish bones
  • 1 lump pale palm sugar, chopped
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1.2 litres coconut milk
  • 25 g tamarind paste, from a block
  • 50-100 ml lime juice
  • 16 scallops, coral reserved
  • 100 g green tea noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 4 tbsp Thai crispy shallots


1. Heat a large pan and lightly caramelise the onion, garlic, galangal and ginger in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Add 2/3 of the chilli, the kaffir lime leaves and the roots and stems of the coriander (pound them first to release the flavours). Stir in the spices and fish bones and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.

2. Add the palm sugar, nam pla, coconut milk, tamarind and 600ml hot water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean pot and taste for seasoning - adding salt, nam pla, lime juice and the squeezed lime halves. Leave to simmer while you assemble the rest of the dish.

4. Toss the scallops in a little sesame oil then sear in a really hot pan to colour the outsides, but do not cook beyond rare. Rest for a minute then slice in half horizontally.

5. Pound the scallop corals to a paste with a little salt.

6. Warm 8 deepish bowls and heat up the noodles in hot water. To serve, drain the noodles and place in the bowls. Ladle over the laksa broth and sit the seared scallops on top. Dollop on the coral purée, then scatter with the reserved chilli slices, spring onions, crispy shallots and the coriander leaves.

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