Recipe | Chicken and Prawn Laksa





    




Laksa is one of those dishes that every now and again I get a severe craving for, I need a laksa fix every few months... There is a little place in Canberra that makes the best laksa I have ever had and oh how I miss being able to pop down and order a bowl. Laksa is a soup-noodle dish in the Chinese/Malay cuisine with a spicy coconut milk based soup that is served with some kind of protein, usually chicken, seafood and/or tofu.

I have never really had a good experience with making laksa before and I think that is largely due to the fact that I have always used a bought laksa pasta - big mistake! It often has an overpowering fish taste and is also often very salty. So, I spent a few days looking through various laksa recipes before spending the morning in the kitchen cooking up this bowl of goodness.

Don't let the long list of ingredients scare you off. It's all very quick especially once you have made the paste and all of the ingredients are great things to have in you pantry if you don't already have them.

I have found that laksa does vary but here we have my take on a chicken and prawn laksa. The soup is rich with coconut and nutty flavours which is contrasted with the refreshing garnishes. I love garnishes and I feel they are an important part of this dish but play around with them. Hope you like it!

Chicken and prawn laksa
Serves 4

Laksa paste
3 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
3 fresh red chillies, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 2cm piece of ginger, chopped finely
1 to 2 tbsp chopped coriander stalks
1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves discarded and chopped finely
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp tamarind paste
1/2 tsp cumin (I used half sends and half ground)
1/2 tsp paprika

Soup 

400 ml coconut milk (one can)
500 ml chicken stock
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 chicken breast fillets, sliced into 2 cm pieces
16 king prawns, peeled and deveined
Firm tofu, cut into large cubes
1 tbs olive oil
200g vermicelli noodles
200g egg noodles noodles

Garnish

Beansprouts
Coriander leaves
Fried shallots
Chopped peanuts
1 red fresh chilli




Happy Friday x




Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add in onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes until soft.
Add in the rest of the laksa paste ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally for 6 - 7 minutes.
Transfer ingredients into blender or use a stick blender to blend all ingredients until it forms a paste.







Place tofu in a bowl and pour over boiling water with a pinch of salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Remove from bowl and pat dry.
Heat oil in fry pan on a medium heat.
Fry tofu on all sides for 1 to 2 minutes until golden.
Return paste to frying pan on a medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add in chicken and allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add in coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, peanut butter and tofu. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes (see note).
Add in prawns for 5 minutes or until pink.
Cook noodles according to instructions on packet.



To serve, divide noodles into 4 bowls.
Add in chicken, prawns and tofu to each bowl and cover with soup.
Sprinkle each bowl with desired garnishes or let your dinner companions add in what they want.



NOTE | You may need to add in more liquid as you go, water or stock is fine. Just ensure you have enough liquid to fill each bowl.


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