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I have been craving this, my favourite spicy, flavour-packed, healthy Laksa recipe at least since Christmas and possibly even before, since I was fully anticipating eating all the things over the festive period. Which I did. So now, it’s Laksa time. Laska is spicy noodle curry, with coconut milk as a base, often containing chicken, prawn or fish and different variations can be found throughout Asia. I love it because it’s full of vegetables and lean protein, but feels comforting at the same time. Bonus: you can use up almost any crunchy or green veg you have in the fridge.

The best thing about this dish is that you can make it super healthy, by using courgette noodles instead of rice noodles and you can swap the meat for extra veggies. Your choice. I have to admit that I own three spiralizers (I’m getting rid of two now that I’ve found my dream spiralizer), which are handy gadgets which you can use to make vegetable spirals in seconds. If you’re sticking with noodles, and I often do, then I like to use the flat rice noodles, which I order from the Asian Cookshop.

If I’m going super healthy, I swap the chicken for cauliflower, and roast it first in the same spice mix in this recipe. It tastes just as good and cauliflower gives you that a little extra crunch in your bowl of Laksa goodness. Sidenote: I’ve listed some authentic ingredients, like the lemongrass, which can be hard to get hold of. I actually can’t get it down here in Cornwall but I can tell you that a squeeze of lime does just the trick.

SPICY LAKSA WITH COURGETTE NOODLES
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
45 min
FOR THE SPICE MIX
  1. 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
  2. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
  3. 1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice
  4. splash of sesame oil
  5. olive or coconut oil for frying
FOR THE LAKSA
  1. 2 skinless chicken breasts or half a head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
  2. rice noodles or courgette noodles
  3. 5 spring onions, sliced
  4. 1 green, red or yellow pepper, finely sliced
  5. 1 large carrot, sliced into thin strips
  6. 1 large handful of leaf spinach
  7. any green veg, eg. sugarsnap peas, broccoli, kale
  8. 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  9. 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  10. 1 thumb of ginger, finely chopped
  11. 1 stick of lemongrass (or a squeeze of lime)
  12. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  13. 1 large teaspoon of smooth peanut butter or almond butter or tahini
  14. 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  15. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  16. 400ml coconut milk
  17. 500ml chicken or veg stock
  18. fresh coriander, mint and lime to garnish
  19. 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. If you are using whole spices, start by crushing the cumin and coriander in a mortar and pestle with a little sea salt and some whole peppercorns. Add the five spice the sesame oil. Coat your chicken or your cauliflower. If you are using cauliflower, roast the florets in a moderate oven for about 10 mins and then set aside.
  2. If you are using chicken, add the chicken to a very hot large pan and brown all over. Once the chicken is nearly brown, add the chopped ginger, lemongrass, garlic, half of the spring onions and one of the chopped chillies. Turn the heat down and fry gently for a minute. Add your stock, the peanut butter or tahini, the turmerice, fish sauce, soy sauce and coconut milk. Simmer for 5 mins until reduced and thickened a little. Adjust the seasoning. You might want a little more soy sauce or fish sauce, or an extra chilli.
  3. Now start adding the veg and noodles. Some will take longer to cook than others, so start with the rice noodles, carrots and peppers and add anything delicate like spinach and courgette noodles at the very end. If you are using cauliflower, add your roasted cauliflower back in to warm through.
  4. Serve with the remaining spring onions and sliced chilli scattered over. Garnish with fresh coriander, mint if you have it, sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime.
Life On A Plate https://www.lifeonaplate.co.uk/
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Melissa Love is a food photographer, graphic designer and mum of two, living in Cornwall. Eats all things Cornish. In fact, eats all things.

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