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300g/10oz dried narrow rice stick noodles 2 tbsp neutral oil 2 cloves garlic, crushed finely grated zest of 1 lime about 2 tbsp laksa or red curry paste, to taste 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger 2 tomatoes, cored and chopped 1-2 whole chillies (optional) 4 cups chicken stock 1½ cups coconut cream 1 tbsp soft brown sugar 1 tbsp fish sauce 2-3 skinless single chicken breasts, very thinly sliced salt and ground black pepper, to taste 6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved lime cheeks or wedges, to serve salad garnish 2 handfuls bean sprouts 2 spring onions/scallions, thinly sliced or shredded a handful of coriander/cilantro leaves a handful of mint leaves 1 long red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced ½ telegraph cucumber, cut into fine batons
© Annabel Langbein Media
Cover rice noodles with plenty of boiling water in a heatproof bowl, stirring to fully submerge. Allow to soak while you make the laksa soup and salad garnish.
To make the soup, heat the oil in a large pot and sizzle garlic, lime zest, curry paste and ginger for a minute or two until aromatic. Add tomatoes, chillies, if using, stock, coconut cream, sugar and fish sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. The soup can be prepared ahead up to this point, chilled for up to 48 hours or frozen until needed and reheated and finished just before serving.
When ready to eat, prepare Salad Garnish and arrange on a platter.
Add chicken to hot soup, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook gently for another 3-5 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Season to taste.
Drain noodles and divide them between serving bowls. Arrange two egg halves on top of each and divide the laksa soup between the bowls. Serve with the platter of salad garnishes so everyone can help themselves, and accompany with lime cheeks or wedges to squeeze over.
Use boneless, skinless white fish, prawn/shrimp tails and/or squid instead of the chicken and simmer until just cooked through.
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