Michael Weldon’s Mum’s Laksa

Coles ambassador Michael Weldon remembers how his mum nurtured his early passion for cooking – now he is nurturing hers.

4

15m

20m

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cups (1L) salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 4 x 400ml coconut cream
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 300g Coles RSPCA Approved Australian Chicken Breast Fillet, thinly sliced
  • 8 prawns, peeled leaving tails intact, deveined
  • 250g silken tofu, coarsely chopped
  • 300g thin rice noodles, soaked
  • 150g bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 2 limes, halved
  • Chilli sauce or paste, to serve
  • Fried shallots, to serve

Laksa paste

  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 4 birdseye chillies, seeded if desired, chopped
  • 4cm-piece ginger or galangal, peeled, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 lemongrass stems, chopped
  • 2 tbs shrimp paste (optional)
  • 3 coriander stems
  • 2 tbs ground coriander
  • 2 tbs ground cumin
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 tbs ground turmeric

Method

STEP 1

To make the laksa paste, combine the onion, chillies, ginger or galangal, garlic, lemongrass, shrimp paste, if using, coriander stems, ground coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric and ¼ cup (60ml) water in a blender. Blend until smooth and well combined.

STEP 2

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and laksa paste. Cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until aromatic. Add the stock and coconut cream and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5 mins or until the mixture thickens slightly. Add the sugar and fish sauce and cook for 5 mins. 

STEP 3

Add the chicken, prawns and tofu to the coconut cream mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 5 mins or until chicken is cooked through and the prawns curl and change colour. Remove from heat. Squeeze over 2 lime halves. (You can add extra lime juice, fish sauce or sugar, if needed.)

STEP 4

Divide the noodles among serving bowls. Top with bean sprouts. Ladle over the soup and top with chicken, prawns and tofu. Serve with coriander leaves, fried shallots, chilli sauce and remaining lime.

Lessons my mother taught me



“Mama Weldon Laksa was the most popular dish in our family growing up. It was Dad’s favourite dish and Mum made it pretty much every Thursday night. I still crave it regularly to this day, so I’ve written a recipe for my version of Mama Weldon Laksa. She used to buy laksa paste, but I prefer to make my own so I’ve included a recipe for it.”

"By the time I was 15 she had me cooking dinner a couple of times a week"

Michael Weldon standing with his mum

Michael Weldon and mum Genevieve: “My mum is my hero.”

“My mum, Genevieve, is my hero and has been the most influential person in my life. She is an excellent cook but when we were growing up it wasn’t her favourite thing.

“When I started showing a passion for cooking mum was pretty happy. She embraced it and nurtured it and by the time I was 15 she had me cooking dinner a couple of times a week. Mum loved that she didn’t have to cook and I loved that I could avoid doing homework so it was win-win!

“Mum would buy me whatever weird and wonderful ingredient I could think of cooking with. I’m not sure how many 15-year-olds ask their mums to come home with a duck for dinner or a chef’s knife for their birthday. But mum was always supportive.

“Over the past few years mum has discovered her own passion for cooking. She sends me photos of what she’s cooking or asks for advice on new dishes. It’s an amazing part of our relationship. Over the last Christmas holidays mum asked me to teach her to make sourdough from scratch, so we spent a day baking. Now she is baking a loaf of bread a week. “I might be 30 years older but there is still something very special about a day in the kitchen baking with mum.”

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