There are many different kinds of laksa. Generally speaking, laksa is a spicy broth, frequently made with a coconut cream base, served with a variety of meats and herbs. In this simpler version of curry laksa, more commonly found in the hawker centers of PJ, it’s usually just chicken and “kerang” cockles. I have substituted the blood-y shellfish with oysters or shrimp to be more acceptable to folks this side of the Pacific!
I always like my laksa noodle “yin yeung” ie a mix of egg noodles and rice noodles.
Chef’s tip: The last drizzle of coconut milk gives a smooth, rich flavor to the broth.
1 large boneless chicken breast or thigh, about 1 lb
8 pieces of shucked oysters or shrimp
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
10 dried chilies or about 5 fresh red jalapenos
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon roasted belachan (substitute 2 tablespoon fish sauce)
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
1 inch of galangal
1 tablespoon dried tumeric powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup of canola oil for frying
2 cups coconut milk, reserve ½ cup of cream
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of water
Salt to taste (at least a few pinchfuls of salt)
12 fried tofu puffs
6 oz egg noodles
6 oz rice vermicelli
1 cup mung bean sprouts
Preparing the meat:
1. Steam chicken breast until cooked, about 20 minutes. Tear or cut into ½ inch thick slices
2. Drain the oysters, keep refrigerated. If using shrimp, blanch shrimp.
Preparing the spice paste:
3. Grind together spice paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
Preparing the laksa soup base:
4. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat until just hot. Stir in spice paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until the red oil separates from the spice paste about 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Lower the heat, slowly add coconut milk, tofu balls, chicken stock and bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer for at 20-30 minutes. Salt to taste.
Preparing the noodles:
6. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt and oil. Blanch rice vermicelli till tender.
7. Using the same water, blanch egg noodles. Reserve.
8. Place a serving of noodles and rice vermicelli, vegetables, chicken, and oysters in bowls and ladle laksa broth over. Drizzle a teaspoon of coconut cream. Garnish with cilantro.
9. Serve with quartered limes and sambal.
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