It so happens that halibut and coconut laksa (part soup, part noodles with fragrant gravy) floats my boat this week. I don't know about you but ever since starting the Autoimmune Protocol I have developed a new found love affair with soup. Even the children, who once upon a time rejected their liquid bowls so vehemently, have joined the fan club. I even think that of all the leftover meals concocted from our Christmas Day feast (of which there were many as a 13 pounder goes a pretty loooooooong way with four!), it was that final, vegetable chunky and turkey rich broth that was the highlight. Having simmered the carcass an entire day before tossing in an assortment of chopped roots and finally the remnant trimmings from the bird, I'm pleased to say my efforts and patience were rewarded well. It was divine! My laksa deliberately errs on the milder side to keep it completely family friendly, however should you want to turn up the heat somewhat, adding a splash or three of fish sauce and the juice of a lime should do the trick. Although it won't be low histamine any more, and that is the purpose of today's recipe!
I wrote this laksa as part of my low histamine series (along with this, this, this and yep, there's this one too!) and as a result have been taking notice of my own possible relationship with this immune irritant (more on that another day). Histamine tolerance in the body can be explained as something akin to a bucket - that is, your body can handle a gradual build up but once that bucket overflows, your body doesn't hang about at letting you know it's time for action. That could be in a variety of ways, maybe subtly maybe not, but a mere handful of examples could include hives, rashes, flushes, headaches, nausea and mood swings. So what you do is address the issue, spend some time decreasing the levels in that bucket by tending to your gut health, until you start to feel better. Then you need to wise up on the foods that could be problematic for you and store that information in your grey matter for the next time you feel the urge to put bacon, olives, avocado, sauerkraut and an orange on your plate for breakfast. However - looking to the root cause is to be advised so if you think that histamine may be an issue for you, have a listen to Eileen's timely podcast with specialist, Alison Vickery.
So what can I tell you about today's recipe, other than the fact you'll have gathered it is low in histamines? Well, given the inclusion of both ginger and turmeric, it had to be made whilst my boy was away at camp on account of him being allergic to both (ginger and turmeric - not the camp). I suppose I could have made it under cover of darkness but that would just be plain silly. I need my sleep after all (more to share on that too). But aside from that I think you'll find this creamy, daintily aromatic laksa a refreshing change from the gutsy broths you've likely been ploughing through since winter began. The perfect lunch!
halibut and coconut laksa
This recipe is absolutely delicious with wild salmon too!
Print the recipe here
1 packet kelp noodles *
1 medium onion, chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups coconut milk
4 green onions, sliced on the diagonal
3 small bok choy, leaves separated
generous pinch sea salt
4 pieces halibut, skin removed
cilantro leaves to garnish
Start by rinsing the noodles thoroughly. Put them into a large pan of filtered water and bring up to a boil. Turn off the heat and leave whilst you get on and make the laksa. I like to do this to give it a final rinse and start the noodles softening.
Put the onion, ginger and lemongrass into a high speed blender with 1/4 cup filtered water and whizz to a thick paste. Heat the coconut oil into a large pan and add the paste. Cook for a couple of minutes or so until fragrant and any excess water has evaporated. Stir in the turmeric, cook a further minute then pour in the broth and coconut milk. Bring up to a simmer and cook gently for 5 minutes to let the flavours infuse. Drain the noodles and add to the pan with the spring onions and bok choy. Cook a further 3-4 minutes until the greens have wilted. Add sea salt to taste.
Meanwhile, put a couple of inches worth of filtered water into a large sauté pan and bring up to a simmer. Place the halibut into the water, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and gently poach for 8-10 minutes until just opaque.
Divide the laksa between four bowls. Remove the halibut from the poaching liquor, break into large chunks and add to the laksa. Garnish with the cilantro.
A couple of notes:
* If you cannot find kelp noodles, use zucchini instead : Cut the ends off 3 large zucchini and peel the skin if you wish. Using a spiralizer or a julienne peeler, make long ‘noodles’ from each zucchini. Drop into a large pan of boiling water, remove from the heat and allow to cook through for about 3-4 minutes until tender, or however you like to serve them, being careful not to overcook or they will break up.
My laksa deliberately errs on the milder side to keep it completely family friendly, however should you want to turn up the heat somewhat, adding a splash or three of fish sauce and the juice of a lime should do the trick. Although it won't be low histamine any more!