Curry laksa

I am trying my hand on making this curry laksa. Back home curry laksa is with assam and sardine. The Malaysian style curry chicken laksa is “Traditionally made with rice noodles, prawns, chicken, tofu puffs and fish balls, this Malaysian curry laksa is not a dish of subtlety. A balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy elements, popular accompaniments include Vietnamese mint and fried Asian shallots.”

“Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from Peranakan culture. Curry laksa (sometimes called just laksa) is a coconut soup made with prawns, beef, bean sprouts and chili. It is very spicy but can be made milder by leaving out some of the chilis. Laksa is a popular food in Singapore and Malaysia. The laksa paste is made from garlic, galangal or ginger, lemongrass, chiles, dried shrimp, and ground spices. It’s a deeply flavoured and fragrant base for the soup. Classic toppings for curry laksa are chili paste, chilies, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and chopped fresh herbs.”

We used to eat out a lot in Malaysia. This is one of my favourite dishes that I do miss terribly. Out there, you can search for the recipes. Today, this is a trial and error experiment I use Action 1 A1 curry chicken paste. My mother bought some yong tau foo ingredients and I bought some hot pot dumplings to add into my chicken curry laksa. I made drumsticks and prawns head stock to made the chicken curry soup and drumsticks meat to add in. I added the prawn heads in to make the stock as I don’t want to waste it. It sure will help boost the flavour of my curry laksa soup. Hooray!!! My first trial and error curry laksa is spicy, creamy, deeply flavoured, fragrant, and satisfying delicious. Let’s cook!!!


Drumsticks and prawn heads stock

12-14 prawn heads
1 Tbs minced garlic
12 drumsticks
4-6 c water, just enough to cover the drumsticks slightly above 1”
5 garlic cloves
1 c chick stock, bought
1 Tsp chicken powder stock (OPT)
1” ginger
black peppercorns
3 c water, plus extra water

Chicken curry soup

750 g drumsticks meat pieces
6 curry leaves
1 packet A1 Action One chicken curry paste, about 200 g
600 ml drumsticks and prawn heads stock
250-350 ml water
400 ml coconut milk
6 dried chilies
4 garlic, peeled
3 candle nuts
1 Tbs light soy sauce
1 Tbs garam masala
2 Tbs chili paste, bought from jar
1 “ginger, peeled and sliced
1 lemongrass, white part only

Noodles and assorted accompaniments

3 blocks vermicelli, blanched for 3 minutes, and drained
1 packet Hokkien mee, blanched for 5 minutes and drained
8 squid rolls
8 cuttlefish balls
8 fried fish balls
8 tofu pok
4 lobster flavoured balls
4 eggplants yong tau foo
4 deep fried yong tau foo
4 red capsicum yong tau foo
4 bitter gourd yong tau foo
Crispy fried shallots
spring onions
chili oil, bought


Chicken and prawn stock

Cook prawn heads with oil and minced garlic until turned red, add some water and smashed then set aside. In a pot, add drumsticks, 4 c water and bring it to a simmer on low heat about 35 minutes. As it simmers, skim the foam (impurities) off the top with a fine-mesh skimmer or a spoon. When it is done, strain stock through sieve into another pot (I usually line it with a muslin cloth).

Add remaining stock ingredients into pot with drumsticks except chicken stock and 3 c of water. Simmer very gently for 1-2 hours. The longer the stock, the more flavour it will have, but the drumsticks will lose flavour. Remove the drumsticks from the pot once it has cooked. Let it cool and remove meat from bones. Keep in an airtight container in fridge.

Add in 1 cup of chicken stock, powder stock and cooked prawn heads with 3 c of water first into stock. Bring it to boil for more stock flavour about 30 minutes, gives a couple of stirs and check seasoning. Cover with lid. When it had cool completely, transfer to sterile jars and keep in fridge for about 4-6 weeks.

Chicken curry soup

Marinate drumstick meat pieces with 2 Tbs of A1 Action One paste and 1 Tbs of light soy sauce for 30 minutes and put in fridge. Meantime, soak dried chilies in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Pound candle nuts, lemongrass, and sliced ginger then add to blender with soaked dry chilies, garlic, and 3 Tbs A1 Action One paste.

Heat 1 Tbs oil on high heat, add blended curry paste, garam masala and A1 Action One paste into the pot and stir until aromatic. Add drumstick meat pieces, make sure to coat all the drumstick meat pieces well and stir for 1 minutes. Add 250 ml water and cover the pot and lower the heat to medium.

Bring the curry chicken to boil and then lower the heat, add the assorted accompaniments except crispy dried shallots and spring onions, add curry leaves, and simmer for 20 minutes or so or until the meat pieces become tender and accompaniments are cooked and puffed up.

Add the coconut milk, 600 ml stock, chili paste, 100 ml water for soupy and bring it to boil for about 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix well. Let it stand for about 20 minutes to absorb the aromatic flavour more (OPT). I prefer to wait for 20 minutes. You can ladle the curry soup immediately.

Plating up

Divide vermicelli and Hokkien mee into 4 bowls. Ladle 2 big spoonful of chicken curry soup and the assorted accompaniments onto the bowls. Garnish with crispy fried shallots and spring onion. Drizzle chili oil around (OPT). Serve immediately with a cold beer. Enjoy!!!!

Note: If chicken curry soup is cool, warm up again, you can add in bean shoots, calamari or prawns if you like or chicken breast pieces. Garnish with coriander or parsley. Or add chili paste.