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Bec’s quick Chicken Laksa

White bowl filled with chicken and prawn Laksa

Chicken laksa is one of those quick and easy meals you can serve mid-week, but it’s also good enough for a dinner party. Stick a few prawns on top and Ta Da! You can have it on the table in 30 minutes or less by using a pre-made paste or powder (even a purchased paste), or you can also take your time and start from scratch.

Does Laksa have to be spicy hot?

I know some of you don’t like heat, so making your own paste or powder is a great idea.  Making your own from scratch gives you complete control by adjusting the heat to your liking.

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What does Laksa come from?

Did you know that the word Laksa is derived from the Persian word Laksha (which means slippery)?  Laksa isn’t a specific soup; it’s the name given to a range of soups.  We call it “soup”, but really it’s more than that.  It’s a noodle type soup from Malaysia and can contain a variety of proteins.  Fish, chicken, pork, prawns, tofu are all acceptable protein sources, and sometimes you can find two or three in the same dish.

Individual ingredients for Bec’s Quick Chicken Laksa,
Typical Laksa Ingredients

Ingredients in this Laksa recipe

For the recipe I’ve written here, you’ll need to add your spice in two ways – shop bought paste and my Laksa powder.  I’ve used Maesri Red Curry Paste from the supermarket (it has some heat to it), but you’ll also need some of my Laksa powder blend, which has ingredients that will bring it more in line with a Malaysian Laksa.

I’ve given you options below if you’ve not done my spice class or purchased my spice blend eBook.  Here’s a link to my eBook bundle if you want to check it out.  

When I buy any sort of paste or jar of sauce from the supermarket, I pretty much always add some extra ingredients to boost the flavours in the dish.  For example, in this Laksa recipe, I’ve added a little garlic, kaffir lime leaves and a touch of sugar to balance the sauce.

Sure, if you just want to feed the masses and you’re not too concerned with going the extra mile for the taste, use them straight out of the jar, but trust me when I say you don’t have to add much to make an extraordinary dish. 

Spices I like to use for Laksa

When making laksa for our family, we tend to go for a little heat.  You can make your own red paste, but trust me, adding a small can of Maesri, Red Curry Paste, you won’t regret it. Use as much or as little as you like; It’s a great product.

Why use red curry paste with a Laksa blend? 

Well, we like a bit of heat.  You can use as much or as little as you like, and the red curry paste will do a great job.  Adding a tablespoon of my Laksa powder (which isn’t hot) will add some additional ingredients to make it more like a Laksa.   If you don’t have my blend, you could grab a curry powder from the supermarket.  Try to find one that has lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves in it but if not any mild one will be ok.  Or here’s a great Laksa powder you can grab online if you don’t want to make your own, although this one does have some chilli built-in.

These additions change the dish, giving it a Malaysian Laksa style flavour.   Of course, you can leave the red paste out (heat) out altogether, as I’ve shown in my classes or eBook or use even more paste for really hot. ?  Oh, and you can freeze any leftover paste if you like.  That’s what I do. 

So what sort of things are in my Laksa blend?  

You can get all of these ingredients from a good middle-eastern deli or supermarket.

  • dried shrimp (Optional)
  • garlic granules
  • onion flakes
  • coriander seed
  • galangal powder
  • ginger powder
  • dried kaffir lime leaves
  • lemongrass powder
  • chilli’s dried
  • turmeric powder

Some of the other ingredients:

I use a non-flavoured oil for cooking off the paste/powder and chicken at the start.  Check out my free download on cooking oils.

What sort of Protein:

I use chicken thigh fillets because they’re tender, juicy, and aren’t as easily overcooked as breast or some other proteins.  If you have some prawns in the freezer, chuck in a few per person. 😉 

Kaffir lime leaves?  I have a tree, so this is a no-brainer for me, but if you don’t, it’s not a deal-breaker.  You can purchase these dried from Asian supermarkets or dry your own.    

Coconut Cream or Milk:

I prefer coconut cream to coconut milk.  It’s richer and creamier, and if you add more water or stock, it’s lighter, like milk.  I only need to purchase one type to get the result I’m after.

Stock:

Homemade stock is lovely, but my favourite option is Continental stockpots if you don’t have time.  They don’t take up a lot of room in the pantry, and they can be made up in small or large amounts depending on your needs. I grab one stockpot, pop it in a jug with around 200g of boiling water, and then set it aside to dissolve. 

Fish sauce:

Fish sauce is often used instead of salt.  I love the fishy salty tang it gives, but it’s up to you what you use. 

Fried Tofu Puffs:

YUM.  I don’t really like or use much tofu as a rule, but these fried tofu puffs are delicious.  Slice them in half, and they’re just like little sponges.  They soak up Loads of broth and don’t taste like your usual tofu at all.

Close up of puffy tofu,
Close up of Puffy Tofu

Asian Veg:

You can use what you like.  I’ve used snake beans, spring onion and snow peas because that’s what I had in my fridge.  You could use anything you want, though.

Noodles:

Once again, use what you like, but these fresh rice noodles are YUUUMMMY; if you’ve never had them from an Asian supermarket, you’re missing out on something special.  They don’t need any work; you just need to remove them from the pack and warm them through.  You can get noodles and sheets in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  Look in the fridge section.  They’re very white and will look something like the picture below.  I purchased rice noodle sheets for this recipe and tore them by hand into bite-size pieces. 

Fresh white noodles (just cooked).
Fresh rice noodles

How do we make a quick Laksa?

  1. Get all your ingredients together before you even think about turning your wok on.  I have some small stainless bowls (it’s what chefs use).  If you can get some, you won’t regret it for the “mise en place” (putting everything in place). Think about when you’re going to add the specific ingredient and have a bowl for the addition of ingredients (as opposed to one bowl for every component you often see on TV cooking shows).  This saves on bowls (and the washing up) in a home kitchen. 
  2. Once you’ve got everything washed, chopped and ready to go, get your wok or large pot on.
  3. Start to heat your pan, and as it’s getting hot, add the oil.  
  4. Put your paste into the hot oil and cook it out until the oil and paste are blended and bubbly.  This is when I add my Laksa powder, turn the heat down and mix it through the paste to cook a little. 
  5. Throw in the chopped chicken pieces and toss to coat and cook. 
  6. Next, add the kafir lime leaves if you’re using them and if you want to add more garlic or ginger, do it now.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked, add in the coconut cream, stir to combine, then add in the stock.  
  8. Then you need to add the ingredients that require some cooking.  Tougher veg like sliced carrot or broccoli stems would go in now.  Green beans only take a few minutes to cook, so these would go in towards the end of this cooking stage.
  9. Add in the prawns and cook them through. The time will depend if they’re pre-cooked or green.
  10. Lastly, add in the noodles and tofu puffs to warm. 
Individual ingredients separated and generally in bowls for Bec’s Quick Chicken Laksa,
What I used in my Laksa

FAQ

Does Laksa have to be spicy hot?

It usually is, but hey, you’re the boss in your own kitchen; make it the way you want.

Is Laksa fattening?

Well, it can be, the coconut cream is the culprit here but, use less coconut cream or milk and more stock, and it will be less fattening.

Can you make Laksa Vegan?

Sure thing, leave the meat out and replace it with veg.  You’ve still got those lovely tofu puffs for texture.  There are so many options; think sweet potato too.

YouTube video
How I make a quick Chicken Laksa

Alternative recipes or if you’re cooking a banquet

Want my spice blend recipes?

If you want to make your own spice blends, my eBook might be what you’re looking for. 

Although I prefer to bring out the wok for a dish like this, I’ve added Thermo instructions.  Go easy on the speed, as you don’t want to break everything up. 

White bowl filled with chicken and prawn Laksa

Bec’s Chicken Laksa

4.80 from 5 votes

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

becs-table.com.au
This recipe has all the flavour but is still quite mild. If you want heat, do as I do and add fresh sliced chilli to yours.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Asian
Servings 2 big serves
Method Thermomix and Conventional

Equipment

  • 1 Thermomix (optional)

Ingredients
  

  • 15 g Bec's Laksa powder or a shop bought blend *See notes
  • 1 tsp or more Maesri red curry paste *See notes
  • 20 g Peanut oil or similar
  • 1 or 2 Chicken thigh fillet cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic optional
  • 2 shredded fresh Kaffir lime leaves optional
  • 300 g coconut cream
  • 200 g chicken stock or veg stock
  • 1 tsp brown sugar to taste, add a touch of sugar to balance your sauce.
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2-3 per person Prawns pre cooked, (optional ingredient)
  • 1 big handful of veg Think of Asian veg. What do you normally see
  • 200 g Fresh or soaked noodles I used fresh rice noodles
  • 3 – 4 Fried Tofu Puffs sliced in half 2, 3 or 4 per person

Instructions
 

Thermomix Method:

  • Weigh the oil, paste and the Laksa powder into the TM bowl. Set to Varoma temp/3 mins/slow speed.
  • Add everything up to and including the fish sauce, place the simmering basket on top of the lid, cook at 8 mins/100°C/ reverse speed slow stir.
  • Now it's time to add the remaining ingredients (except those tender rice noodles and tofu puffs); place the simmering basket on top of the lid, and cook at 4-6 mins/100°c/reverse speed slow or until the veg is slightly wilted.
  • Now boil the jug and get a large serving dish ready. I love the oval Thermomix Server for this job. Place the fresh noodles in the bowl, then pour the boiling water over the noodles, they only take a few minutes to soften and warm through.
  • Drain the water from the noodles (keeping the noodles in the thermoserver), toss in the cut tofu puffs then pour the laksa over them and gently stir pop on the lid and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Conventional Wok Method:

  • Add the oil paste and spice mix to the wok slowly bring it up to a warm temperature stirring all the time to cook through. Do not burn.
  • Add a drizzle of the coconut milk or more oil if it's starting to look dry and cook until thick and smooth.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the wok and continue to cook on a medium high heat till the chicken takes on some colour. If you're using the optional aromats you can do that now. Garlic and Kaffir leaves
  • Add the remainder of the coconut milk and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Add prawns, Asian veg and adjust with fish sauce and cook till veg is slightly wilted.
  • Lastly add in the noodles and tofu puffs to warm through then serve.

Notes

I like to make my own spice blends, and I’ve got a great powdered blend for Laksa.  If you haven’t done one of my courses or purchased my eBooks, you could purchase something similar at your supermarket.  For this recipe, I’ve started with a purchased red curry paste called Maesri Red Curry Paste.  This paste is hot, so use it sparingly. If you don’t like heat, then I add my Laksa powder.  You can only add the powder if you want no heat. A close up of a tin of Maesri red curry paste
 
I know laksa should be hot, but I’ve made the powder mild so you can serve it to the kids. If you want heat, add the red paste, fresh chilli’s or cayenne pepper to taste.  Saves making two different meals, why should we heat lovers miss out?

Want to know more?

The recipe for Bec’s spice blend is available at our online store

4.80 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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