Laksa is a rice (vermicelli) noodle soup dish popular in Malaysia and Singapore. This is a super easy, fake-out version you can make at home! There are two popular versions of Laksa; this recipe is modeled after the version that features a curry coconut milk soup. This is a gluten-free and meatless dish (and can be vegetarian too if you use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth).
The quality of the broth you use in the soup really does impact the flavor of the final dish. If you can, make a big pot of chicken bone broth using my bone broth recipe and freeze a bunch for use in meals like this. It makes all the difference in the depth of flavor it delivers, not to mention the superior nutritional benefits. Otherwise, store-bought chicken stock most definitely can be used but do try to look for no- or low-sodium and ideally organic versions. See my recommendations for curry paste and vermicelli noodles in the ingredients listing below. If you can't source the same brand, experiment until you find one you like!
3 tbsp grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
3 tbsp mild or spicy curry paste (I like the glass jarred pastes by Patek's)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, bashed a few times with a wooden spoon to release the oils
1 398ml can coconut milk (13.5 fl oz)
4 C chicken broth, homemade (see my bone broth recipe) or store bought no/low-sodium
1 lb rice vermicelli noodles (16oz package) (I like Rose Brand rice noodles)
16 large shrimp, deshelled keeping the tail on and deveined
Salt to taste, depending on salt content already in your broth
4 large eggs, soft-boiled (or hard boiled if you don't like the yolk runny) and sliced into 2 halves
2 handfuls bean sprouts, washed and blanched 6-8 seconds in boiling water
1 handful cilantro or parsley leaves, washed
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
1. Soak and cook vermicelli rice noodles according to package directions. Set aside. You may want to keep it in some tepid water to prevent sticking - and drain right before you need it. Alternatively leave it soaking longer and cook it in a separate pot of boiling water right before serving.
2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium to medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp of the oil and brown the shrimp on each side until they just turn opaque and slightly browned on the edges. Do not overcook. Set aside.
3. In the same pot, add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and saute the curry paste in it for a minute until aromatic. Add the turmeric and the lemongrass stalks, allowing the spice to bloom for a minute.
4. Add the can of coconut milk and chicken broth. Bring to a boil while you assemble the noodle bowls. Remember to season the broth with salt once it comes to a boil.
5. Divide the cooked noodles among four bowls. Top each bowl of noodles with 4 shrimp, 2 egg halves, bean sprouts, cilantro leaves or parsley leaves and a wedge of lime for squeezing. Ladle the hot broth over top and serve immediately.
I would love to hear your comments about what you think of this recipe. :)