1/3 cupolive oil400 mlcoconut milk1 tbspcaster sugar800 mlfish or chicken stock2sprigs of Vietnamese mint400 gmfirm white fish fillets, such as snapper or mahi mahi2small squid, cleaned and cut into 5mm-thick rings8black mussels, scrubbed and bearded8medium green prawns, peeled and cleaned leaving tails intact500 gmhokkien noodles, cooked in boiling water for 1 minute, then drained250 gmblanched baby green beansTo serve:coriander sprigs and lime wedgesSpice paste2stalks of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, root ends trimmed and stalks finely chopped2cloves of garlic, chopped1 tspground turmeric, or 3cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped2.5 cmpiece of galangal, peeled and chopped3 cmpiece of ginger, peeled and chopped5candlenuts1onion, chopped6fresh long red chillies, seeded and chopped2 tspground coriander seed1½ tspbelacan (roasted shrimp paste)
For spice paste, process all ingredients in a food processor until a paste forms, adding a little water if necessary.
Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add spice paste and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add coconut milk, sugar, stock and mint and, stirring continuously, bring to the boil. As soon as mixture comes to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add seafood and cook, covered, just until seafood is cooked through and mussels have opened. Using a slotted spoon, remove seafood and keep warm. Divide noodles, beans and seafood among soup bowls. Ladle hot laksa over, sprinkle with coriander sprigs and serve immediately, with lime wedges passed separately.