Chicken Laksa Recipe

Jan 25, 2013 3:02 pm

A tart, spicy Southeast Asian chicken noodle soup

This tangy, savory chicken laksa is the quintessential comfort food for many Southeast Asians.
This tangy, savory chicken laksa is the quintessential comfort food for many Southeast Asians.
 

Leave it to West Coast guide to the good life, Sunset Magazine, to throw together a chicken laksa soup recipe so good we'd eat it in Southern California all summer.

The spicy Malaysian laksa soup may have a long list of ingredients, but it’s super easy. Malaysian kitchens (in Southeast Asia, in Southern California, and elsewhere) weave Chinese, Indian and Malay culinary strands into a complex cuisine.

Servings: 5

Ingredients

2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
4 cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
5 to 8 dried arbol chiles, stemmed
2 lemongrass stalks
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb. boned, skinned chicken thighs, cubed
1 teaspoon shrimp paste*
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
1 quart reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cinnamon stick
8 ounces mung beans, rinsed
8 ounces wide rice noodles
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, torn into smaller pieces
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn
lime wedges
Sambal oelek chili paste
Directions: 

For the sambal oelek chili paste:

  1. Grind coriander, peppercorns, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, turmeric and chiles coarsely in a spice grinder; set aside. Peel tough outer layers from lemongrass, then mash core with a meat mallet or small, heavy frying pan.

For the laksa:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chicken, shrimp paste, shallots, and reserved ground spices and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 minutes.
  2. Pour in coconut milk, broth, sugar, and salt; add cinnamon stick and lemongrass. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
  3. Boil bean sprouts in a large pot of boiling water until softened, 2 minutes. Transfer sprouts to a bowl. Add noodles to pot and cook until firm, 4 minutes. Drain; rinse well.
  4. Divide sprouts and noodles among bowls. Ladle in soup (remove cinnamon and lemongrass) and top with mint and cilantro. Serve with limes and sambal.

*Find shrimp paste in the Asian-foods aisle of a well-stocked grocery store or at an Asian market.

Level of Difficulty: 
Moderate
Prep Time: 
25 minutes
Cooking Time: 
1 hour
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