By Hedy Khoo, The New Paper

INGREDIENTS
600g laksa noodles
60g bean sprouts
2 pieces of tau pok (dried beancurd puffs), cut into small pieces
100g blood cockles
100g fish cake, sliced
600g prawns, whole and unshelled
60g dried prawn, soaked
10 sprigs of laksa leaves, chopped (discard stems)
1.2 litres coconut milk
Cooking oil

For the Rempah
250g shallots
3 garlic cloves
60g dried chillies, deseeded and soaked
5 fresh red chillies
2 stalks of lemongrass
1 thumb-size piece of turmeric
20g galangal
3 candlenuts
1 tbsp toasted belacan powder
2 tsp ground coriander
80g dried prawn, soaked
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

For the Stock
1 pork bone, blanched till there is no blood
30g ginger
1 head of garlic
Prawn shells
l.5 litres of water
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Prepare the stock by boiling water in a pot. Add the pork bone, ginger and garlic.
2. Take the unshelled prawns and put in the boiling water for about four minutes.
3. Remove the prawns from the boiling stock.
4. Shell and set aside the prawns. Place the heads and shells back into the stock pot and boil for 1.5 hours.
5. Strain and reserve the liquid. Season with sugar and salt. Set aside.
6. Blitz 80g dried prawn.
7. Heat a wok with two tablespoons of oil and fry the dried prawn for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
8. Blend shallots, garlic, dried and fresh chillies, turmeric, galangal and candlenuts into a paste.
9. Heat four tablespoons of cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
10. Add the spice paste and fry over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Add ground coriander and toasted belacan. Add the fried dried prawn.
11. Season with salt and sugar. Fry for another 10 minutes or until the oil separates from the mixture. Set aside the fried spice paste.
12. Bring the prawn stock to a boil, add the 60g of dried prawn and the fried spice paste.
13. Add the coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.14. Adjust the seasoning with salt if necessary.
15. In a separate pot, blanche the noodles, followed by bean sprouts and cockles.
16. Place blanched noodles, bean sprouts and cockles in a bowl. Add a few slices of fish cakes, prawns and some tau pok.
17. Ladle the gravy over the noodles and garnish with some chopped laksa leaves.

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