Recipe: Che's favourite squid, pumpkin and quail egg laksa

By Grant Allen

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Squid laksa is Che Barrington's favourite Sugar Club recipe. Photo / Doug Sherring
Squid laksa is Che Barrington's favourite Sugar Club recipe. Photo / Doug Sherring

Serves 6

• 1.8 litres fish stock
• 300g pumpkin, cut into 6 wedges
• 200g dried egg noodles
• 8 tbsp sesame oil
• 12 baby squid, cleaned and washed
• 2 hot green chillies, finely sliced
• 6 lime leaves
• 6 baby aubergines, cut into quarters
• 12 fine slices galangal
• 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
• 2 tsp fish sauce
• 2 tsp tamari
• 2 tbsp tamarind paste
• 50ml fresh lime juice
• 6 quail eggs
• Fresh coriander


1. Bring the fish stock to the boil and add the wedges of pumpkin; boil the pumpkin until cooked and remove from the pot, but keep warm. Add the noodles to the pot and cook until done. Drain through a colander into a large bowl, reserving the cooking liquid.

2. Return the emptied pot to the heat and heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil until it begins to smoke. Add the baby squid and dry-fry for 2 minutes, then remove and place with the pumpkin.

3. Add the remaining sesame oil and, when hot, add the next five ingredients. Fry for 1 minute on a high heat, stirring well, then add the still-warm fish stock, fish sauce, tamari and tamarind and turn to a simmer. After five minutes add the lime juice.

4. While this is cooking fry the quail eggs in a little cooking oil or non-stick pan.

5. To serve, warm six serving bowls and divide the noodles, pumpkin and squid between them, then ladle in the boiling liquid. Carefully place a quail's egg on top of each and add fresh coriander to taste.

Cook's notes: Substitute pineapple-cut squid pieces if you are unable to find baby squid.

Baby aubergines are available at Asian fruit and vegetable stores.

If unavailable, try half an aubergine cut into 3cm pieces and add with the pumpkin to cook. Quail eggs are available from specialty stores but you could use hen's eggs and quarter them.

- Herald on Sunday

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