Chicken Laksa

2010 June 7
by linda

I have been struggling lately about what am I going to cook for my family. I felt like I was cooking the same thing over months and I want to do something different. I also have been craving for Laksa several times and been having them in few Malaysian takeaway shops. So, I thought I better make Laksa today.

Sydney’s weather has been unfriendly for weeks now. The rain has been pouring non stop throughout the week and that made me feel like I want to stay indoors. Lucky my husband offered to drive me to the Paddish Market in the afternoon, so I could do some quick shopping. I went to a butcher and bought a whole chicken. I also asked them to chop them into small little pieces, and one of Laksa making task is done. I went to the groceries store next to the butcher instead of crossing the street to get to Paddish Market, because the rain was pouring so bad. It turned out that the grocery store did not have any fresh lemon grass left, however the do have some finely chopped frozen one. I thought that would do for me.

We arrived home at half past six and I went straight to the kitchen to prepare everything. I was hoping that we could have dinner by half past seven. I would say that making laksa is not a hassle or hard work at all. It was pretty simple and quick. Just be aware of the chillies if you are not a big fan of some hot and spicy stuff. I used about 10 dried chillies and to my surprised, it was pretty hot for my toddler liking. My 2 years and 9 months son like a little bit of chilli in his food but this is just a bit way of his range.


  • 1 whole chicken about 1.5 kg, cut into little pieces (ask your butcher to do it)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 cloves shallot
  • about 2 fingers ginger
  • 8 dried chillies or less, soaked in hot water
  • about 10 gr belacan/shrimp paste (I used 2 dried blocks of belacan)
  • 4 pieces of galangal, about the size of 20 cents coin
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass, bruised
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 400 ml of coconut milk
  • about 800 ml of water (water is needed to thin the laksa. They should be light, so add water as needed)
  • salt, sugar and lime juice to taste
  • a packet of fried tofu puffs
  • oil for stir frying
  • vermicelli noodles, soaked in the cold water
  • egg noodles (optional)
  • bean sprouts to serve
  • spring onions to serve
  • fried shallots to serve


  1. Using a non stick pan, grill blocks of belacan on both sides.
  2. Puree garlic, shallot, ginger, dried chillies, belacan in the food processor.
  3. Heat oil in the pan. Add the puree mixture, galangal, lemon grass, bay leaves, and turmeric powder to the oil. Stir for 1-2 minutes or until fragrance.
  4. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and stir for about 5 minutes or until half cooked.
  5. Add coconut milk and water and let them simmer for 30 minutes. Once the chicken pieces is cooked, taste the laksa and add salt, sugar and lime juice to adjust the taste.
  6. Add fried tofu puffs and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. In another pan, boil water to cook the vermicelli. Once they are cooked, run them under cold water, drained and oiled them slightly and thoroughly.
  8. Boil water, add in egg noodles for few minutes. Run them under cold water, drained them.
  9. To serve, put a little bit of egg noodle and a bunch of vermicelli noodles in a bowl. Pour hot laksa into the bowl. Add bean sprouts, spring onions, and fried shallots.

Cooking time (duration): 45

Culinary tradition: Malaysian, Singaporean

Please leave your comment/suggestion if you find this recipe useful. Can’t wait to hear from you and Thank You!!!

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