Chicken with laksa curry broth & rice noodles

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.

Chicken laksa
Chicken laksa

Serves 2

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
  1. To make the laksa paste, put the ingredients in a mini blender and blend to a smooth paste.
  2. For the laksa, heat the oil in a wok or large non stick pan and stir fry the chicken pieces for 3 mins.
  3. 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
  4. Stir in the chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, soy and sugar.
  5. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for 5 mins.
  6. Stir in the rice noodles and cook for about 3 mins until cooked through.
  7. Stir in the pak choi for the last minute until cooked through.
  8. Add the beansprouts.
  9. The broth should have a creamy soup consistency, so adjust with more stock if necessary.
  10. Divide the noodle between two bowls and ladle the chicken and broth over the top.
  11. Garnish with sliced chilli, chopped coriander and and thai basil if you like.