Coconut Chicken Laksa

By Hayden Quinn
Serves  4
Preparation   15 mins
Cooking   20 mins
Print recipe

Featured in Episode 9

This was my attempt at taking on the Darwin Laksa ladies in the first annual Darwin Laksa festival. After spending some time with a couple of the front runners in the competition this is what I came up with, it is thick, it is creamy, it is spicy and most importantly it is packed full of flavour! A little more involved, but worth the effort! (However, if you are strapped for time, switch the homemade paste out for store bought….my friend Marion (of Marion’s Kitchen) has an amazing Laksa Meal Kit!

Ingredients

PASTE (WILL MAKE MORE THAN NEEDED*)

  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 5cm fresh turmeric, cut into disks
  • 5cm ginger, cut into disks
  • 10cm galangal, cut in disks
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, white part only, chopped
  • 5 whole dried chili, soaked in hot water
  • 1 tbs dried baby shrimp, soaked in hot water
  • 8 candlenut*
  • 1 tbs belachan (shrimp paste) 
  • 1 tbs coriander, ground
  • 1/2 cup Cobram Estate, light extra virgin olive oil

SOUP

  • 1L chicken stock
  • 2 (400ml) can coconut cream
  • 1tsp white sugar 
  • 3 Lilydale Free Range chicken breast

NOODLES

  • 100g Rice vermicelli, cooked as per packet instructions
  • 200g hokkien noodles, cooked as per packet instructions

TOPPINGS

  • 2 cups, bean sprout
  • 180g tofu puffs, halved
  • 180g fish cake, sliced
  • 1 cup coriander, leaves only, chopped
  • 4 soft boiled eggs, halved
  • Crushed peanuts, to your liking
  • Lime, juiced, to taste
  • Fish sauce, to taste
  • Chili oil, to taste

Method

  1. To make the paste add oil and a little of the chili / shrimp steeping liquid into the bottom of a blender, add remaining paste ingredients and blend until smooth. 
  2. In a extra large pot, over medium heat add half the laksa paste. Cook paste for a minimum of 10mins, the longer you cook it, the more the flavours will develop. Add chicken stock, coconut cream and sugar. Cook simmering until the soup splits or cracks*, approx. 20mins. 
  3. Add the chicken breast and poach over a very low heat for 15mins until chicken is cooked. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly before slicing into 0.5cm thick pieces. 
  4. Finish the soup by adding bean sprouts, tofu puffs and fish cake to just warm through. 
  5. Serve by portioning the two types of noodles into large bowls, topping with soup, sliced chicken, tofu puffs, fish cake and you choice of toppings, coriander, egg, peanuts, lime juice, fish sauce and / or chili oil, to taste.

RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS

  • Paste can be stored in a jar in the fridge for one week, or can be frozen and stored longer. 
  • If you can not find candlenut, you can use macadamia or cashew as an alternative.
  • The soup “splitting” or “cracking” is when the oil from the coconut cream becomes visible on the surface of the soup, it has split away from the liquid. This is when you know your soup is done. This can take up to 20 mins.