Cooking curry laksa begins with the broth followed by the laksa paste. These are the most important components to making a good bowl of curry laksa. This is perhaps the most requested recipe on Nyonya Cooking. Thus, I created this special tantalizing curry noodles with a mixture of spices befitting the dish.
You can always prepare a bigger portion of the laksa paste and freeze it for use later on. That would come in handy whenever you feel the urge to have some curry noodles.
Laksa paste can be stored after frying in oil. Refrigerate laksa paste up to 5 days or freeze up to 6 months.
Yes, curry mee or curry laksa only uses coconut milk in the dish. This is very common in many Southeast Asian dishes where coconut milk is added for flavouring or to reduce the heat in the dish, making most dishes dairy free!
Laksa paste is made out of several ingredients such as dried chillies, turmeric, garlic, shallots and lemon grass. Just like in most Peranakan curries, candlenuts are added to it. For natural umami flavours, dried shrimps and shrimp paste are added. Substitute the ingredients accordingly with dried or frozen options. Visit our ingredient directory to learn more.
Most of the ingredients can be widely found at the Asian grocer. However, it might be difficult to get the Vietnamese coriander (also known as Vietnamese cilantro, Vietnamese mint and Cambodian mint). If you are unable to find it, just skip it. I read that it could be substituted with an equal amount of mint and cilantro but that would not work for this dish.
Although it is recommended to boil the broth using chicken bones and prawn skin for 30 minutes, the best flavours from the ingredients will be enhanced when the broth is boiled for 2 hours or more. To do so, double the amout of water and let it simmer. Then, let the broth sit for another 4 hours for the flavours to develop. Do this, only if you would like to indulge in a bowl of good quality laksa.
The best curry laksa broth uses both chicken bones and prawn shells as a base which results in a subtle sweetness. If you do not want to use prawns, feel free to only use chicken and skip the prawns. Either way, it turns into a really flavourful and delicious laksa when infused with the spices.
To prepare vegetarian curry laksa, prepare laksa using vegetable broth instead of chicken and prawn broth. A vegetable broth can be made out of onions, carrots, celery, shiitake mushroom and radish. Adding kelp helps to provide the missing ‘seafood flavour’ in vegetarian curry laksa. The broth needs to be boiled for at least 2 hours for best flavours. TIP: Lightly roast the vegetables before boiling them. As for dried prawns and shrimp paste, omit them from your list of ingredients.
No doubt, the preparations may seem complicated but you would be encouraged with the result. Trust me, you would love to have this captivating dish over and over again. If you have not tried curry laksa noodles before, you are missing out.
Curry Laksa is also known as: Malaysian Curry Noodles with Coconut MilkLaksa LemakNyonya LaksaMalaysian curry noodles
Prepare the stock by adding drumstick bones and water (1 liter) into a pot and bring to boil. Once it boils, allow it to simmer for at least 30 minutes. After that, use a spoon to remove any impurities.
Heat oil in a pot and stir-fry prawns skin/heads until cooked. Add the rest of the water into the pot together with the Vietnamese coriander. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
In another pot of boiling water, blanch prawns, tofu puffs and noodles. Set aside
Blend dried shrimps, dried chillies, galangal, candlenuts, turmeric powder, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste and lemongrass until smooth. Heat a pot with 3 tablespoons of oil at medium heat to sauté blended ingredients until fragrant.
Pour drumstick bones and prawn broths into the pot with the sautéd blended ingredients. Stir well. Add salt to taste and allow broth to simmer over medium to high heat for 10-15 minutes. Add coconut milk. When broth begins to boil, add tofu puffs and fish balls. Bring to boil again. Turn off the stove.
Toast belacan on a dry pan until fragrant. Set aside. Then, sauté Chili Boh with 1.5 tablespoon of oil at medium heat until oil separates. Add 0.5 tablespoon of water. Add sugar to taste.
Serve by placing noodles into a bowl, add broth and garnish with prawns, tofu puffs, fish balls, Vietnamese coriander, prawns and hard-boiled egg.