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Noodles, Chicken and Prawns in Coconut Broth

this typical Indonesian dish has several different components from which the diners may help themselves, making a complete meal in itself.

ingredients

serves 8
2 onions, quartered
2.5 cm (1 in) fresh root ginger, sliced
2 garlic cloves
4 macadamia nuts or 8 almonds
1 - 2 fresh chillies, seeded and sliced
2 lemon grass stems, lower 5 cm (2 in) sliced
5 cm (2 in) fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced, or 5 ml (1 tsp) ground turmeric
15 ml (1 tbsp) coriander seeds, dry-fried
60 ml (4 tbsp) sunflower oil
400 ml (14 fl oz) can coconut milk
1.5 litres (2 1/2 pints) 6 1/4 cups chicken stock
50 g (12 oz) rice noodles, soaked in cold water
350 g (12 oz) cooked tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
salt and ground black pepper

for the garnish

4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and quartered
225 g (8 oz) cooked chicken, chopped
225 g (8 oz) beansprouts
1 bunch spring onions, shredded
1 onion, finely sliced and deep-fried

method

1. Place the quartered onions, ginger, garlic and nuts in a food processor with the chillies, lemon grass and turmeric. Process to a paste. Alternatively, pound all the ingredients in a mortar with a pestle. Grind the coriander seeds coarsely and add to the paste.

2. Heat the oil in a preheated wok or frying pan and fry the spice paste, without allowing it to colour, to bring out the flavours. Add the coconut milk, stock and seasoning. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, drain the noodles and plunge them into a large pan of salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain thoroughly. Rinse well with plenty of cold water. Add the tiger prawns to the soup just before serving and heat through for a minute or two.

4. Arrange the garnishes in separate bowls. Each person takes a helping of noodles, tops them with soup, eggs, chicken or beansprouts, then scatters shredded spring onions and fried onions on top.

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