‘I adore sitting down to enjoy a big bowl of steaming laksa. The flavours of Malaysia sing in this dish, and it makes a filling lunch, dinner or supper for any day of the week. You will feel transported to the hawker stalls in a bustling Malaysian city from the first mouthful.’ Rebecca Coomes
Classification: Phase 1 semi-restricted, GF, DF, LF
- 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, chopped
- 10 macadamia nuts
- 4 dried red chillies
- 2 tbs dried shrimp, no sugar added
- 1 tbs belacan, no sugar added
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 3 cm fresh turmeric, grated
- 3 cm fresh ginger, grated
- 3 cm fresh galangal, grated
- 4 keffir lime leaves
- ½ bunch coriander, stalks and roots, washed
- 2 cups rice noodles
- 4 tbs coconut oil
- 1.25L chicken stock, see recipe page xx
- 250ml coconut milk
- 12 prawns
- 2 chicken thighs
- 2 limes
- Handful of coriander leaves
- Salt to taste
Place the rice noodles in a big bowl and cover with lukewarm water. Set aside.
Place all of the laksa paste ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. If the paste is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it blends thoroughly.
Peel and devein the prawns, leaving the tails in tact. Keep the shells, heads and legs. Refrigerate the prawns until you are ready to cook them.
Heat a large wok over a high heat. Add the coconut oil then add the prawn shells. Stir fry for a few minutes until the shells are a deep pink colour and aromatic. With a slotted spoon, remove the shells and discard.
Pour the laksa paste into the wok. Stir-fry for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring continuously so the paste doesn’t stick and burn. This will release the beautiful aromas of the spices. If the paste is getting too dry, add more coconut oil.
Pour in the chicken stock and coconut milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Add in the chicken pieces and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until cooked through. Add the prawns and cook for a further 1 – 2 minutes.
Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime. Taste and season accordingly.
Drain the rice noodles from the water and add these to the laksa. Stir to mix thoroughly. Once the noodles are al dente, divide the soup between 4 large bowls.
Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander and with lime wedges on the side.
Note: The dried shrimp come in packets and look just like small shrimp. The belacan is made from dried shrimp and comes in a block. The aroma is pungent so should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They can be found in Asian speciality supermarkets.
To make this suitable for Phase 1 – restricted, omit the rice noodles.
Rebecca Coomes is an author, entrepreneur, passionate foodie and intrepid traveller. She transformed her health after a lifetime of chronic illness, and today guides others on their own path to wellness. She is the founder of The Healthy Gut, a platform where people can learn about gut health and how it is important for a healthy mind and body. Rebecca is also the author of the world’s first cookbooks for people treating Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and the host of the SIBO cooking show and The Healthy Gut podcast.