I love laksa. It’s a fusion dish that incorporates indian spices and southern chinese cuisine – I like it quite spicy, but if chilli is not your thing, it would be just as delicious if you cut the chilli content.
This is also a great dish if you should eat wheat free (like me!) as it contains rice noodles.
The paste does take a bit of effort and a lot of ingredients, so if you wanted to make this as a quick work night dinner you might want to either make the paste in advance (it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days), or buy it pre-made. Obviously, anything made fresh at home is going to taste much better.
This is Ching-he Huang’s version of this dish, which was in BBC Good Food magazine.
For the paste:
- 1tbsp veg oil
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves removed, stalks smashes and roughly chopped
- 2.5cm piece ginger, sliced
- 3 large chillis, deseeded. 2 roughly chopped, 1 sliced to serve
- 3tbsp shrimp paste
- 1tsp turmeric
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1tbsp light muscovado sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
- 50ml coconut milk (taken from the 400ml can listed below)
For the chicken laksa
- 1tbsp veg oil
- 450g chicken thighs, skinned, deboned and chopped into 2.5 cm cubes
- 800ml chicken stock
- 400ml can coconut milk (minus the 50ml for the paste)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- juice 1 lime
- 1tsp light soy sauce
- 1tsp light muscovado sugar
- 200g dried vermicelli rice noodles, or wide flat rice noodles
- 2 small bulbs pak choi, quartered
- 100g beansprouts
- 2 pinches chilli powder, or flakes
- To make the laksa paste, put the ingredients in a mini blender and blend to a smooth paste.
- For the laksa, heat the oil in a wok or large non stick pan and stir fry the chicken pieces for 3 mins.
- When it starts to brown, add the laksa paste. (Use about 100ml for spicy and 150ml for very spicy. Obviously, add to taste for less heat) and stir for 2-3 mins
- Stir in the chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, soy and sugar.
- Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for 5 mins.
- Stir in the rice noodles and cook for about 3 mins until cooked through.
- Stir in the pak choi for the last minute until cooked through.
- Add the beansprouts.
- The broth should have a creamy soup consistency, so adjust with more stock if necessary.
- Divide the noodle between two bowls and ladle the chicken and broth over the top.
- Garnish with sliced chilli, chopped coriander and and thai basil if you like.