Chicken laksa

Serves 4 people

Is there a better meal on the run? Gotta love a laksa - it's creamy, rich, crunchy and aromatic. In fact, it's pretty much everything I want in a dinner.....or lunch....or snack

  • 1 red onion, sliced finely
  • 1 Tbsp peanut oil
  • ½ cup laksa paste* (recipe follows)
  • 500ml coconut cream
  • 1L chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 500g green prawns, peeled
  • 1 cup broccoli, cut into florets
  • 100g fried tofu, diced
  • 500g fresh rice noodles
  • 2 cups beans spouts
  • ½ bunch coriander leaves
  • ½ bunch Thai basil leaves
  • ¼ bunch Vietnamese mint leaves
  • fried shallots, to serve
  • For the Laksa paste
  • 4 eschalots, peeled
  • 2 sticks lemongrass
  • 6 small red chillies, trimmed
  • 4cm piece ginger
  • 8 lime leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground star anise
  • 1 Tbsp Thai shrimp paste
  • ½ cup peanut oil

1 Set a wok over a high heat and fry the chicken and onion in peanut oil for 2 minutes, until just sealed. Stir in the laksa paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

2 Pour coconut cream and stock and season generously with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

3 Add the prawns, broccoli, tofu and noodles and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Fold in the bean sprouts and herbs then serve with fried shallots.

*There are some great store-bought laksa pastes on the market if time is short.

For the Laksa paste

Makes 2 cups

1 Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator covered with a thin layer of oil, and use within 2 weeks.