Malaysian Curry Laksa

I love noodles, all kinds of noodles. But Curry Laksa is my all time favourite. Hubby and I order this dish and use it to gauge if a Malaysian restaurant is genuinely ‘Malaysian’ lol. Char Kway Teow is the other dish we use to gauge the ‘authenticity’ of a place claiming to serve Malaysian cuisine. 
Usually it is hubby who cooks noodle dishes at home (the traditional way aka on the stove) and I’m more than happy to let him. He usually keeps us stocked up with his laksa paste in the freezer but recently, I was longing for laksa and there was none left. Hubby said why don’t I make some in my new toy (KitchenAid Cook Processor - CP). OK, challenge accepted, so I set about adapting our recipe to be made in the CP.

Malaysian Curry Laksa

Paste Ingredients A
  • 15 dried large chillies (using scissors, cut in half and shake seeds out to deseed)
    **(To soften chillies, put chillies into CP main bowl with 500mls water, close lid and launch program Steam P1. Leave chillies to cool in the water while you prepare the other ingredients. Discard water when ready to proceed using chillies in the recipe)
  • 2 tblsps dried shrimps (rinse, then soak in hot water for 10 minutes, drain)
  • 6 raw cashew nuts (soak together with dried shrimps) (optional, makes soup creamier)
  • 3 large brown onions (peeled and quartered)
  • 5 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 2 lemon grass (white part only, thinly sliced) (if using minced frozen, 2 tblsps)
  • 1 inch knob galangal (peeled, thinly sliced against the grain) (if using minced frozen, 1 tblsp)
  • 1 inch knob ginger (peeled, thinly sliced against the grain)
  • 2 tblsps fried shallots
  • ½ – ¾ cup neutral oil
Paste Ingredients B:
  • 2 tblsps meat curry powder (recommended Malaysian curry powder brands – Baba, Parrot, Alagappa)
  • 1 tblsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsps sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 tsps roasted shrimp powder (belacan)
  • 3 stalks Vietnamese mint (1 stalk is approx. 20cms long, use leaves only)
  • 1 tblsp sea salt
Laksa Paste cooking in CP
  1. Insert MultiBlade:
    Put Ingredients A into CP bowl, pulse/scrape a few times until a very fine smooth paste is obtained. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  2. Change to StirAssist Blade, measuring cup off:
    Add in Ingredients B. Select programme Fry P1, increase speed to 1, press start to launch programme. At the end of programme, scrape down sides of bowl.
  3. Continue to saute paste with programme Stew P3, increase time to 15 minutes, press start to launch programme. Paste is ready when oil separates. Relaunch Stew P3 to continue cooking if extra time is required.
  4. Divide cooked paste into 3 portions, freeze 2 portions in separate containers and leave the 3rd portion in CP bowl to make the laksa soup.
    Laksa Paste is ready when oil separates. Portions for the freezer.

Laksa Soup Ingredients (serves 3)

  • 1.2 litres water
  • 15 green prawns (shelled/deveined, leaving tails attached – keep prawn shells for stock)
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 chicken carcass (washed and cleaned)
  • 1 portion cooked laksa paste (approx. ½ cup)
  • 1 tblsp fish sauce
  • 1 heaped tsp chicken stock powder (I use Knorr Brand)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 can (400 mls) coconut cream
  • fish balls
  • 3 squares tofu puffs (rinsed, then sliced into thick slices)
  • 2 eggs (hardboiled in pot of water, then use water for blanching noodles)
  • Enough noodles for 3 serves (**Please see NOODLES notes below)
  • Large handful of beansprouts (tailed and washed) (can be used raw or blanched in boiling water for 5 seconds)
  • Some fried shallots
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Lime wedges
NOTE:  These are instructions for when you have just made the laksa paste in the CP. If you are using the extra frozen paste, it would be faster/easier to make the soup in a normal pot over stove.
  1. Heat a pot over medium heat on stove, add 2 tblsps oil and saute prawn shells for a few minutes until fragrant. Add chicken carcass and water, bring to boil and simmer covered over medium heat for 20-30 minutes. **Please see STOCK notes below.
  2. Add chicken breast into prawn/chicken stock and poach for 5 minutes (or until breast is fully cooked). Remove chicken breast, set aside.
  3. Strain prawn/chicken stock to remove shells/bones.
  4. Remove blade from CP bowl that has the remaining 1 portion of the cooked laksa paste.
  5. Add to CP bowl the strained prawn/chicken stock, fish sauce, chicken stock powder, salt. Set 105C, 5 minutes, press start.
  6. Remove the lid from CP bowl. Then add coconut milk, tofu puffs, and fish balls. Set 105C, 7 minutes, press start to bring soup to boil again. Taste and add more salt if required.
  7. With 2 minutes remaining, add in green prawns, continue cooking the remainder time or until prawns are just cooked.
  8. Soup is ready to be served.

To Assemble Laksa

  1. Remove shells from hard boiled eggs, and halve/quarter eggs.
  2. Slice or shred poached chicken breast.
  3. In a single sized serving bowl, put in a handful of blanched noodles of choice, and some blanched bean sprouts. **Please see NOODLES notes below.
  4. Scoop onto noodles 5 prawns, 3 fish balls, a few slices tofu puffs and enough soup to cover noodles.
  5. Garnish with hardboiled egg, sliced/shredded chicken breast, fried shallots, and mint leaves. Add a squeeze of lime. Serve. **Please see GARNISH notes below.

NOODLES – these are various types of noodles that traditionally go well with laksa.
  • Fresh egg noodles (blanch in pot of boiling water for 1 minute)
  • Dried rice vermicelli noodles (blanch in pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes till softened/cooked)
  • Fresh flat rice noodles – similar to those used in Vietnamese Pho (blanch in pot of boiling water for 15 seconds just to warm up and separate the noodles) (I find the best brand to buy in Melbourne is ‘Mekong’ – the thinner type for soup – but unfortunately, not every Asian grocer stocks this brand. Another good brand to get is A3.)
  • I always use a simple plain stock made without the addition of any herbs. I also use a commercial chicken stock powder instead of the homemade stock concentrate from thermal cooking recipes. I find that those homemade stock concentrate has various herbs in them (normally used for Western style cooking) that are not suitable or compatible for Asian dishes. Same applies to commercial liquid stocks like Campbells, etc. I have tried using commercial stock before for my curry laksa and the result was truly ‘yuck’.
  • I usually buy a few chicken carcasses and make very concentrated stock in my pressure cooker and freeze them in portions for use in noodle soups (diluted with water as required).
  • My recipe has sliced/shredded chicken breast and prawns as garnish. But that can be substituted with Chinese bbq pork “char siew” as I did (in one of the pictures above) because I happened to have some.
  • I also didn’t have any green prawns on hand, so omitted those as well!
  • Hard boiled egg is nice, but so is a sunny side up (runny yolk of course) as garnish :)
  • I make do with whatever I have in my fridge/freezer when the need for curry laksa strikes suddenly.