Laksa Noodle Soup
Recipe video above. This is a recipe for a real Malaysian restaurant quality laksa made by sprucing up store bought laksa paste! You can't just dump store bought laksa paste into coconut broth! The key is to freshen up the paste by sautéing it with garlic, ginger, chilli and lemongrass. Makes a world of difference! This makes 2 large bowls. Because large is the only way to go with Laksa!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
- 2 cups (500 ml) chicken stock / broth
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 3 chicken drumsticks (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 cm / 4/5" piece of ginger , finely grated
- 1 lemongrass , white part grated, (Note 2)
- 2 birds eye chillis , finely chopped (Note 3)
- 1/2 cup / 175g laksa paste (Note 4)
- 400 g / 14 oz can coconut milk (Note 5)
- 2 tsp fish sauce (sub soy)
Noodles + Toppings
- 50g / 1.5 oz vermicelli noodles , dried
- 100g / 3.5oz hokkien noodles (optional, Note 6)
- 80g / 2.5 oz bean sprouts
- 80g / 2.5 oz tofu puffs , cut in half (Note 7)
Laksa Chilli Sauce (Note 8)
- 1/2 tsp sugar , white
- 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce , light or all purpose
- 1/2 garlic clove , minced
- 1 1/2 tsp Laksa paste (Note 4)
- 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce , or other chilli sauce
- 1 tbsp chilli paste from jar , or more Sriracha
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil (any plain oil)
- Fresh coriander / cilantro (recommended)
- Lime wedges (recommended)
- Crispy fried shallots , optional (Note 8)
- Finely sliced red chilli , optional
Place Chicken Stock ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to simmer, then reduce to medium high.
Cook for 25 minutes or until chicken flesh is falling off the bone and liquid reduces by about 1/3.
Discard skin, pull flesh off the bone and place in bowl, discard bone. Set broth aside.
Heat oil in a large saucepan or small pot over medium low heat. Add garlic and ginger, sauté for 20 seconds, then add lemongrass and chillis. Cook for 1 minute.
Add laksa paste. Turn heat up to medium and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, or until fragrant.
Add chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce and 2 tsp of Laksa Chilli Sauce. Place lid on and simmer on for 10 minutes.
Adjust to taste using lime juice (for sour) and fish sauce (for saltiness). Add tofu puffs. Leave on turned off stove with lid on for 5 minutes.
1. Chicken - I love making this with drumsticks or bone in skin on thighs because the flesh that falls off the bone looks and tastes like the chicken in Laksa that is served at proper Malaysian joints. Also the chicken skin adds richness to the broth. It can be made with chicken breast and boneless thigh, poached per recipe and sliced, but the broth flavour isn't quite as good.
2. Lemongrass - peel the outer layer off then use just the juicy white bit on the bottom, usually around 3-4cm / 1.5". Don't use the green reedy parts. Can sub with 1 tbsp lemongrass paste.
3. Chilli - Birds eye chillies are small red chillis that are commonly found in Australia. Around 3cm long, they are spicy! Deseed them to reduce hear - I leave the seeds in. Feel free to substitute with any spicy chilli you have.
4. Laksa Paste -My preferred Laksa Paste is called Por Kwan (see photo in post) which is available at most Asian stores. Best supermarket brand is Ayam Laksa paste available at Woolworths and Coles in Australia, but it is a bit sweeter than Por Kwan - balance it out with a bit more fish sauce or a squeeze of lime juice. Avoid Valcom - far too sweet and westernised.
The amount of laksa paste required will depend on the brand you use - some have more intense flavours than others. Start with 1/2 cup for sautéing, then after you add the coconut milk, have a taste test and if you want a stronger flavour, add more laksa paste to taste. Also add fish sauce for saltiness.
5. Coconut milk - My preferred is full fat coconut milk. If I'm desperate and trying to be healthy, I will use low fat. I find coconut cream too rich for me.
6. Noodles - The "best" serious Laksa joints in Sydney serve laksa with both vermicelli and hokkien noodles. However, most laksa places only use vermicelli. So Hokkien is optional - add more vermicelli.
7. Tofu puffs are essential for a true laksa experience! They are deep fried tofu that are "sponge-like". They soak up the broth so when you bite into them, the broth squirts out in your mouth. They are sold at Asian stores and at Harris Farm Markets in Sydney, in the fridge section with the noodles.
They don't need cooking, they just need to be plonked in the soup to heat up as they soak up the broth.
If you really can't find it, the laksa will still be gorgeous. Tofu puffs are more about the laksa experience rather than flavour. :)
8. Laksa Chilli Sauce - Part of the laksa experience in Sydney includes the chilli sauce that is served on the side of the Laksa which I always dollop generously onto my Laksa.
It is not just plain chilli, it has much more flavour. I've never found a recipe for it so have created my own. Some of it is used to add more punch to the laksa broth, and the rest is used to serve on the side.
9. Crispy fried shallots can be purchased at Coles/Woolworths in Australia and Asian grocery stores. They are crispy salt fried shallots pieces that are used to garnish laksa.
10. Nutrition per giant bowl. Worth every single calorie, I swear! If you use light coconut milk, it reduces to 516 calories per serving with 34.3g fat.
Serving: 582g | Calories: 780kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.8g | Protein: 18.9g | Fat: 62.9g | Saturated Fat: 37.9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 2374mg | Potassium: 775mg | Fiber: 4.5g | Sugar: 6.1g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 26.4mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 6.3mg