Curry laksa 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.
Cooking curry laksa begins with the preparation of the broth followed by the laksa paste. These are the most important components to making a good bowl of curry laksa.
You can always prepare a big portion of the laksa paste and freeze it for later use. It would come in handy whenever you feel the urge to have some curry noodles.
Laksa paste can be stored after stir-frying it in oil. Refrigerate it for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 6 months.
Coconut milk is used in the preparation of curry mee or curry laksa. This is very common in many Southeast Asian dishes where coconut milk is added for flavouring or to reduce the spiciness of the dish, therefore 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 included. 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 omit 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 for 30 minutes using chicken bones and prawn skins, the flavours will be enhanced if the broth is boiled for 2 hours or more. To do so, double the amount of water and allow it to simmer. Then, let the broth sit for another 4 hours for the flavours to develop. It is worth the wait if you want to indulge in a bowl of delicious laksa.
The best curry laksa broth uses both chicken bones and prawn shells as a base. As a result, it has a subtle sweetness. If you do not want to use prawns, feel free to use only chicken bones. Either way, the broth will still be really flavourful and delicious when infused with the spices.
To prepare vegetarian curry laksa, use vegetable broth instead of chicken and prawn broth. A vegetable broth can be made out of onions, carrots, celery, shiitake mushroom and radish. Lightly roast the vegetables before boiling them. 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. As for dried prawns and shrimp paste, omit them from the 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 into a pot and bring to boil. Once it boils, lower heat and allow 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 rest of the water into pot together with the Vietnamese coriander. Bring to boil. Lower heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
In another pot of boiling water, blanch prawns, tofu puffs, fish balls and noodles. Set aside
Blend dried shrimps, dried chillies, galangal, candlenuts, turmeric powder, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste and lemongrass until smooth. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pot at medium heat. Sauté blended ingredients until fragrant.
Pour drumstick bones and prawn broths into the pot with the sautéed blended ingredients. Mix well. Add salt to taste. Allow broth to boil at 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.
On a dry pan, toast belacan until fragrant. Set aside. Then, sauté chilli boh with 1.5 tablespoon of oil at medium heat until oil separates. Add 0.5 tablespoon of water and sugar to taste.
Serve by placing noodles into a bowl. Add broth and garnish with prawns, tofu puffs, fish balls, Vietnamese coriander and hard-boiled egg.