Malaysian Rice Noodle Soup (Laksa)

Ingredients

  • Laksa Paste
  • 3 dried red chiles (such as guajillo, Anaheim, or New Mexico, stemmed, halved, seeded)
  • 1 2- inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 4 red Thai chiles, chopped
  • 3 medium shallots, chopped
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed, finely grated
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 4 tsp Thai shrimp paste
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • Soup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 14- ounce cans coconut milk, divided
  • 3 cups chicken stock (homemade is best)
  • 12 tofu puffs, cut in half (optional)
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 8 oz wide rice vermicelli
  • 2 tsp natural sugar (or light brown sugar), optional
  • fine grain sea salt

  • Toppings
  • Bean sprouts
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Crispy fried shallots
  • Scallions
  • Finely sliced red chili

Instructions

  • Laksa Paste
  • Place dried chiles in a small heat-proof bowl, add boiling water to cover, and let soak until softened (~ 12–15 minutes).
  • Drain and set aside
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high, add the ginger and garlic, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and garlic is just tender (~ 6-8 minutes)
  • Transfer to a clean surface and peel the garlic
  • To the bowl of a food processor, add the reserved chiles, Thai chiles, shallots, lemongrass, oil, shrimp paste, coriander, curry powder, cumin, ginger, and garlic
  • Puree until smooth (it’s okay if a few flecks of chile remain)

  • Broth
  • In a large saucepan over medium-high, cook the laksa paste, stirring often, until it has slightly darkened and begins to slide around the saucepan when stirred (~ 2 minutes)
  • Add half of the coconut milk and continue to cook, stirring often, until reduced by half (~ 4–6 minutes)
  • Add chicken stock, tofu puffs (if using), and the remaining coconut milk.
  • Bring to a boil and add the chicken.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and tender (~ 20–25 minutes)
  • Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool; shred meat
  • Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.
  • Add chicken and sugar (if using) to the soup; season with sea salt.
  • Divide soup and noodles among bowls.
  • Serve with toppings
Serves: 8