A New Pumpkin Laksa for a Cold Night
- pumpkin, unskinned 12 ounces (350g)
- cilantro and mint leaves, to finish
- red birds eye chiles 3 or 4
- garlic 2 cloves
- ginger a thumb-sized lump
- lemongrass 2 plump stalks
- cilantro stems 5 or 6
- cilantro leaves a handful
- sesame oil 2 tablespoons
- chicken or vegetable stock 2 1/2 cups (600ml)
- coconut milk 1 3/4 cups (400ml)
- nam pla (Thai fish sauce) 2 tablespoons
- tamari 1 to 2 tablespoons, to taste
- the juice of a lime
- dried noodles 3 1/2 ounces (100g), cooked as it says on the packet, then drained
- Peel and seed the pumpkin and cut the flesh into large chunks.
- Cook in a steamer or in a metal colander balanced over a pan of boiling water until tender.
- Remove from the heat.
- For the spice paste, remove the stems from the chiles, peel the garlic, and peel and roughly chop the ginger and lemongrass.
- Put them all into a food processor with the cilantro stems and leaves and the sesame oil and blitz until you have a rough paste.
- Get a large, deep pan hot and add the spice paste.
- Fry for a minute, then stir in the stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
- Let simmer for seven to ten minutes, then stir in the nam pla, tamari, lime juice, pumpkin, and the cooked and drained noodles.
- Simmer briefly, add the cilantro and mint leaves over the top, and serve in deep bowls.