2 tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 150ml water, squeezed for juice and strained
550ml thin coconut milk
350ml thick coconut milk
6-8 stalks basil leaves
1.5kg fresh laksa noodles, scalded
300g beansprouts, tailed
1 cucumber, shredded
1 bunch peppermint, leaves removed
Ground spice ingredients
20 dried chillies
6 fresh red chillies
5cm piece turmeric root
1 tbsp belacan
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar or to taste
1 tsp ikan bilis stock granules
Boil water with salt in a deep saucepot until boiling. Add the cleaned fish. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Dish out fish and debone. Keep fish meat aside. Discard bones and retain the stock.
Cut off bunga kantan stalks (to be used later). Slice bunga kantan finely and leave aside as garnishing. Heat oil and sauté ground spice ingredients, saved bunga kantan stalks and lemongrass. Fry until fragrant. Transfer fried spice into the fish stock. Add tamarind juice and bring to a boil.
Add thin coconut milk and bring to the boil, then pour in thick coconut milk and add basil leaves. Return fish meat to the stock and adjust with seasoning to taste. Simmer gently for a while.
To serve: Put serving portions of scalded noodles into individual bowls. Put some beansprouts and pour enough hot gravy over. Garnish with cucumber, mint leaves and sliced bunga kantan. Serve hot.