Total Time
55mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins

Laksa is a spicy, aromatic, soup, very popular in South-East Asia, and a meal in itself. It comprises a spicy laksa paste incorporated into a thick, rich coconut gravy, laced with spices and fresh herbs, to which is added seafood or chicken and is then served on a bed of fresh hot noodles. Although the preparation can appear daunting, if you gather all the ingredients and take it one step at a time, it is really very easy and a lot of fun. Here it is made with seafood. If you prefer chicken, omit seafood and add a pound of breast or thigh, sliced into thin strips, at step 9. Or, if you prefer, use tofu!

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. For laksa paste: place dried shrimp paste on a foil-lined baking tray and roast at 350 deg F (180C) for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly roasted.
  2. Blend or process all the paste ingredients, including the roasted dried shrimp paste, until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Cut fish fillets into 1¼" pieces.
  4. Peel and de-vein shrimp, leaving tails intact Cut cleaned squid down one side to open out flat, score inside surface in a criss-cross pattern and cut into strips.
  5. Heat peanut oil in a wok until almost smoking, add laksa paste and stir-fry over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the oil has been absorbed and the paste is fragrant.
  6. Add palm sugar, coconut milk and fish or chicken stock, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Season to taste with fish sauce, and add a little more palm sugar, if necessary, to balance the flavors.
  8. When ready to serve, add the fish, shrimp and squid (or chicken if you prefer), and simmer uncovered for a few minutes until the seafood (or chicken) is just cooked through.
  9. Meanwhile, heat the noodles according to packet instructions, drain, and keep warm.
  10. Lastly, add the crabmeat to the laksa and heat through gently.
  11. Remove laksa from heat and add the lime juice to taste.
  12. Divide the hot noodles, bok choy and mint leaves between serving bowls.
  13. Ladle hot soup over the top.
  14. Serve soup topped with cilantro sprigs, bean sprouts, fried shallots, and extra chili if desired.