Laksa Soup Recipe – Malaysian Curry Coconut Soup with your choice of homemade laksa paste, or easier “cheater’s version” with store bought laksa paste.
Author:Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:25 mins
Total Time:45 mins
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 recipe for Laksa Paste or 1 (14 ounce) Jar of Prepared Laksa Paste – see notes.
6 cups chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon palm or brown sugar
4-5 kefir lime leaves ( optional)
1 1/2 pounds chicken (breast or thigh meat) cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pound raw large shrimp (peeled, or use more chicken )
2 cans thick coconut cream. Do not use “lite” – and if you like an even richer broth, add a third can.
12 fish balls (totally optional – available in the frozen section of the Asian Market)
1-2 cups fried tofu- (totally optional- available in the refrigerated section at the Asian market) sliced
3-4 cups fresh bean sprouts
1- 1 1/2 pounds fresh thin rice noodles (refrigerated section at the Asian market)
Lime Juice to taste ( 1-2 limes)
Fish Sauce to taste
Garnishes: lime wedges, cilantro, Vietnamese mint, cilantro, scallions, sambal chili paste, fried shallots (available in jars at Asian market)
Homemade Laksa Paste
3-5 dried red chilies
2 tablespoons dried shrimp (available at Asian Markets)
5 shallots (about 1 cup) roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons galanga – finely chopped
2 large lemongrass stocks – finely chopped (1/2 cup chopped) – find frozen chopped lemongrass at the Asian market.
1 teaspoon fresh turmeric (optional, and ground is OK, too)
6 candle nuts or substitute cashews, brazil nuts or macadamia (optional- you can leave the nuts out)
1 tablespoon shrimp paste (or shrimp sauce)
2 teaspoons coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Make the Laksa paste (or use store-bought). See notes below.
In a large heavy bottom soup pot or dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Add all the Laksa Paste, and saute, stirring constantly until it becomes very fragrant, and deep in color about 2-3 minutes. (turn stove fan on). Add chicken broth and sugar. Bring to a boil. Add chicken, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 4 minutes. Add shrimp. Cook for 1-2 minutes, add coconut milk, fish balls and tofu. Simmer until heated through.
Squeeze lime juice, starting with a 1/2 a lime, and more to taste. Add fish sauce to taste, adding a teaspoon at a time. The broth should taste rich and deep, slightly salty ( the noodles will mellow the salt out) and just a little limey. Guests can squeeze more lime to taste. If you want more heat, add chili flakes or chili paste.
In a separate pot, boil enough water to cover the fresh rice noodles. Once water is boiling add the rice noodles, turn heat off, and let rice noodles stand, heating up for 1-2 minutes, drain.
Divide noodles among bowls. Ladle soup over top of noodles. Top bowls with an handful of fresh bean sprouts, fresh cilantro and mint and a sprinkling of crispy shallots. Serve with chili sauce and lime wedges.
NOTES: To make Laksa Paste: Steep dried chilies and dried shrimp in boiling water for 20 minutes. Prep and place all the other ingredients, except oil in a food processor. Drain shrimp and chilies and add to food processor. Blend until finely chopped, scraping down sides as needed. Add oil and continue blending until it becomes a fine paste. Don’t let the smell or taste scare you. It will all balance out in the end.
If using store bought laksa, use 2 x 7 ounce jars, or one 14 ounce jar. Start conservatively ( 1 jar) if unsure of the brand- some brands are much spicier than others. Add more paste to the final broth, to taste.
You can also keep cooked shrimp and chicken on the side- for guests to add to their own individual bowls as they choose. Leftover rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken breast ( lightly shredded) work well here. Even leftover turkey.