Prawn Laksa: My Asian Kitchen – Jennifer Joyce

My Asian Kitchen cover art

Images and recipes from My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99 Photography by Phil Webb, Illustrations by Riley Joyce


Malay cuisine is a mash-up of local Chinese, Thai and Indian influences, which makes their soups, curries and noodles dazzle with exotic spices, creamy coconut and hot chillies. What distinguishes laksa paste from red curry is the use of nuts. Traditionally it’s candlenuts, but they’re tricky to source so I use macadamias. p. 56


prawn laksa

Prawn Laksa



6 macadamia nuts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
75 g (21/2 oz) yellow or red curry paste
250 ml (81/2 fl oz) chicken stock
1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin coconut milk 2 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
3 tbsp tamarind purée
2 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
150 g (5 oz) green beans,
chopped 200 g (7 oz) large raw prawns
200 g (7 oz) thin rice vermicelli
100 g (31/2 oz) pineapple
Large handful each chopped coriander (cilantro) and mint leaves
Pickled red chilli and shallots (see page 52) and crispy fried shallots, to serve


Using a mortar and pestle, crush the macadamia nuts to a fine paste.

In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and add the curry paste and crushed macadamia nuts. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the stock, coconut milk, spices, tamarind, palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, then add the beans and prawns. Simmer for 2–3 minutes and remove from the heat.

Pour boiling water over the rice noodles and leave for 2 minutes or until soft.

Cut the pineapple into 2 cm (3⁄4 inch) batons.

Divide the noodles among four large bowls and ladle the laksa over. Top with the pineapple, chopped coriander and mint and pickled red chilli and shallots. Serve with crispy fried shallots.


The taste of this soup relies on using good stock, so it is worth making the Master Asian chicken stock (see page 77). If you’re short on time, make the stock in a pressure cooker. It takes about 30 minutes and you end up with stock that would normally require at least 2 hours to cook. You can also use a good-quality bought chicken stock.







Baked Salmon With Cracked Wheat and Goji Berry Salad – Real Delicious – Chrissy Freer

Real Delicious Cover

Recipes and Images from Real Delicious by Chrissy Freer, Murdoch Books.


Baked Salmon with Cracked Wheat and Goji Berry Salad

“This salmon recipe is guaranteed to impress and dead simple to make. Salmon is loaded with healthy fatty acids, while the salad is a good source of dietary fibre.” (p.165)



Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves 6


Olive oil spray

750 g (1 lb 10 oz) piece salmon, skin on

1/2 teaspoon sumac

Flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves and mint leaves, to garnish



175 g (6 oz/1 cup) cracked wheat

200 g (7 oz) green beans, sliced

16 asparagus spears, sliced

1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

1/4 cup chopped mint

25 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) goji berries

40 g (11/2 oz/1/4 cup) natural almonds, chopped

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sumac



190 g (63/4 oz/2/3 cup) natural yoghurt

1 tablespoon tahini

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).


Put the cracked wheat in a heatproof bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover it. Soak for 15–20 minutes or until al dente. Drain and press with the back of a spoon to squeeze out the excess moisture. Return the wheat to a large bowl.


Whisk together all the ingredients for the tahini dressing and refrigerate until required.

Cut 2 pieces of foil, each twice the length of the fish. Arrange them on a work surface with the long edges overlapping. Spray with oil. Place the salmon, skin side down, in the centre of the foil. Sprinkle with the sumac. Fold in the edges of the foil to form a parcel. Place on a large baking tray and roast for 15–20 minutes or until cooked to your liking.


Meanwhile, for the cracked wheat and goji berry salad, steam the beans and asparagus for 2 minutes or until just tender. Refresh under cold running water and drain well. Add to the cracked wheat along with the parsley, mint, goji berries, almonds and lemon zest.


Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and sumac. Pour over the cracked wheat mixture and gently toss.


Transfer the salmon to a serving platter, drizzle with the tahini dressing and sprinkle with parsley and mint leaves. Serve with the cracked wheat and goji berry salad.

Baked Salmon



You can use burghul (bulgur) instead of cracked wheat. It is finer than cracked wheat, so it will need only 5 minutes to soak.