Kari Laksa aka Laksa Lemak is a spicy, rich, creamy and deeply savoury noodle soup. Its the ultimate far eastern winter comfort noodle soup.
Laksa paste (this will make 3 x 8 servings of Laksa)
- 6 shallots, diced
- 5 cm knob of ginger, diced
- 8 cloves garlic
- 3 whole red chillis
- 15 whole dried red chillis, softened in warm water
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1½ tsp turmeric powder
- 3 tbsp coriander powder
- 3 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 lemongrass stalk, diced (white part only)
- 1 tbsp belacan (fermented shrimp paste) or use Thai Gapi Shrimp paste
- 60 ml oil
- 1 knob galangal (rose ginger), optional
- 1 candlenut or macadamia nut, optional
- 3 tbsp oil for frying the paste
Asian style chicken stock
- 1 kg chicken wings
- 1 star anise
- 5 cm knob of ginger, sliced
- 3 whole spring onions, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 2 litres water
- shell and heads from 600g king prawns
- 1 tbsp oil
- 500 ml water
- Asian style chicken stock (see recipe above)
- 8 tsp Laksa paste or as to taste
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- 600 g king prawns shelled and deveined (heads and shells are used for the prawn stock)
- fried tofu puffs; halved, two per serving
- 300 g bean sprouts (blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds)
- 200 g egg noodles
- 200 g rice vermicelli noodles
- 8 soft set boiled egg (7 min in boiling water)
- coriander leaves for garnish
- 2 red chillis, sliced at an angle for garnish
- 2 tbsp Foodiechief's Kashmiri chilli paste
- 2 tsp oil
- ½ tsp belacan shrimp paste
- ¼ tsp sugar
Asian style stock
- Add the chicken wings, star anise, ginger, spring onions, whole onion and garlic to a large saucepan. Add 2 litres of water and bring to a simmer for 1½hours.
- Combine all the ingredients into a blender. Traditionally, a mortar and pestle is used but I dont have one big enough!
- Use Thai Gapi Shrimp paste, if you can't find belacan.
- This belacan was a gift from a friend.
- Make a smooth paste by blending in a high speed food processor.
Cooking the Laksa paste
- Fry the Laksa paste in 3 tbsp oil
- Fry on medium heat for approximately 20 minutes. Make sure you keep the paste moving to stop the paste from spitting.
- After 20 minutes the paste will be much darker.
- After 20 minutes you will hear the paste hissing. This shows the water has evaporated and your paste is nearly done. Cook until the oil separates from the paste.
- The paste will make 3 family-size portions of Laksa. We suggest making the paste ahead of time.
Making the Laksa broth
- Strain out the asian-style chicken stock and allow to cool.
- Peel and devein the king prawns. Fry the prawn shells and heads in a litle oil.
- Whilst frying, squeeze down the prawn heads to extract maximum flavour from the prawns.
- Add 500ml water and bring up to a simmer.
- Allow to simmer for 20 minutes and then take off the heat, allow to steep whilst you work on the sambal paste
- Fry 2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli paste in a little oil.
- Add the belacan paste.
- After cooking out the rawness, add ½ tsp sugar to balance out the saltiness.
Building the Laksa broth
- Add the Asian-style chicken stock into a large saucepan, combine with the strained prawn stock.
- Add 1 tsp of the Laksa paste per serving. (Add less, if you want it less spicy).
- Add a tin of coconut milk. This recipe will make approximately 8 servings so we used 8tsp of Laksa paste.
- Add the fish sauce, sugar and salt to taste.Please taste for salt and spiciness before proceeding.
- Bring the Laksa broth to a slow simmer, then cover and continue simmering for 20 minutes.Boil:– rice vermicelli noodles – egg noodles– 7 minutes boiled eggsBlanch the bean sprouts for 30 seconds in boiling water.
- Add the halved fried tofu puffs.
- The fried tofu puffs act like sponges and absorb the flavoursome broth.
- Simmer the fried tofu puffs for 7 minutes, then add in the raw king prawns and cook in the broth for 3 minutes.
- Place the boiled rice and egg noodles, along with the blanched bean sprouts into a large serving bowl.
- Followed by the Laksa broth, soft boiled eggs, sambal and garnishes.
- Chalo kawa!
- Taste test.So many deep, complex flavour. Total comfort food.
- Be honest, how long did this take to prepare?
- Can you leave out the tofu puffs?
- Where can I get fermented shrimp paste?
- You're the first Indian, I've seen hack the smell of belacan!
- Please can you make the paste and sell it to us!
- How do I adapt the recipe, if I wanted to use chicken?
- Did you use skin-on or skin-off wings?
- Why chicken wings and not an entire chicken carcass?
- Where do you get the time and energy to make all this food?