I was recently reminded of this dish when I saw a vegetarian Laksa being made on Rachel Allen's Home Cooking show - she made it with sugar snap peas and bean sprouts. I suddenly had a craving for Laksa and since I am still recuperating, decided to try making it at home with the help of my trusted Tara. It turned out to be a delicious one pot meal for our Sunday lunch which even my 6 year old enjoyed and smacked the last bits from her bowl.
It was a perfect dish to have for my starved palate which has been surviving on khichdi and mostly bland food....the chicken was cooked to perfection as well. I used glass noodles instead of rice noodles and they made a nice change. You could use Thai curry paste instead of making the paste from scratch but I do believe that the freshness of the ground ingredients adds to the flavours which may otherwise get submerged in the coconut milk. Season this dish with caution since it has fish sauce as well as stock cube in it, both already have salt in them.
Chicken Laksa - recipe adapted from Rachel Allen's Laksa
Chicken - 200gms boneless cut into strips and marinated with a little salt and lemon juice
Vegetables - 1 cup sliced - I used babycorn and bell peppers
Coconut milk - 400 ml
Chicken stock cube - 1 dissolved in 400ml of water
Sesame oil - 2 tsp
Ginger - 1" piece
Garlic - 4 cloves chopped
Lemon grass - 1 tbsp chopped (only the tender inner part not the tough outer stalks, if you'd rather not grind this because of the fibres, then just add the lemon grass whole to the laksa when its cooking)
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup chopped
Fish sauce - 2 tbsp
Green chillies - 4-5
Rice noodles/Glass noodles - 250 gms, soaked in hot water till soft and then rinsed in cold water.
1. Grind all ingredients for the spice mix to a paste - it will be a little coarse and not fine.
2. Heat the sesame oil in a wok and fry the spice paste for a few minutes, then add the chicken pieces and fry on high for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the coconut milk and chicken stock to the wok and bring to boil. Then simmer for about 20 minutes till the chicken is cooked. Add the chopped vegetables and cook for 5 more minutes.
4. I usually take out a portion for my daughter at this stage and add a couple of slit green chillies for a little heat.
5. Check the seasoning and add some salt if necessary.
6. In individual serving bowls, portion out the cooked noodles and then pour some laksa over it.