Traditional Malaysian laksa or noodle soup, with tender prawns, chicken, rice noodles, vegetables and a variety of authentic spices and seasonings, is a meal in itself.
- 30ml peanut or canola oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 10ml fresh ginger, finely grated
- 5ml lemon zest, finely chopped
- 2ml shrimp paste
- 500ml good-quality chicken stock
- 500ml coconut milk
- 7ml ground turmeric
- 2ml ground coriander
- 5ml sambal oelek, or 2ml chilli powder
- 5ml brown sugar
- 5ml tamarind purée
- or 15ml lemon juice
- 5ml salt
- 100g rice noodles
- 100g prawns, peeled and cleaned
- 140g skinless chicken, steamed and sliced
- 100g bean sprouts
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- handful of fresh coriander, stems removed
- 1 small fresh red chilli, finely diced
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the ginger, lemon zest and shrimp paste, and cook for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the shrimp paste. Add the stock, coconut milk, turmeric, coriander, sambal oelek, sugar, tamarind purée or lemon juice and salt. Stir to combine, and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to a rolling simmer and cook, uncovered, for 6 minutes.
While the laksa simmers, soak the noodles in boiling water for 10 minutes. Add the prawns and chicken to the broth, and cook for a further 4 minutes.
Drain the noodles and place equal amounts in 2 bowls. Top with equal amounts of bean sprouts, spring onion, coriander and chilli. Ladle the laksa broth into deep bowls and serve immediately.
Cook's tip: Sambal oelek is a chilli paste and is available from supermarkets.