Chicken Laksa

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Serves 2 | Cooking Time 30 minutes

This coconut curry noodle soup hails from Malaysia and is made with flavorful laksa paste, a blend of lemon grass, ginger, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and chilies. The warming coconut broth is the perfect vehicle for rice noodles and your choice of chicken, shrimp, or tofu.


  • 1 fat shallot, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
  • 1/3–1/2 cup laksa paste, plus more to taste (available at Asian markets)
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  •  8 ounces raw chicken breast, cut in half, lengthwise (or substitute shrimp or tofu)
  • 1 can coconut milk (not light)
  • 4–5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2–3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • juice from one large lime
  • 4 ounces cooked rice noodles
  • Garnish: bean sprouts, cilantro, fresh Serrano chili, lime wedges, Asian hot sauce


In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot, sauté the shallot in oil over medium heat until golden and fragrant. Add laksa paste, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a gentle simmer. Add chicken and continue simmering for 10 minutes, covered. (If substituting shrimp or tofu, you won’t need to cook as long.) Give the chicken a quick shred with two forks, right in the pot. (If the chicken is not tender, cook for a few more minutes.)

Add coconut milk and lime leaves, and simmer on low for a few minutes.
Stir in the turmeric, fish sauce, and fresh lime juice. Taste. Add more fish sauce for depth, more lime for acidity, or more laksa paste for heat and flavor. Find the balance you like.

Divide the noodles between two bowls and pour the laksa overtop, dividing the chicken. Top with the garnishes of your choice.

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