OMG, I can eat this? aims to reconstruct your favorite No Go meals and turn them into delights you can chow down on without feeling terribly afterward.
This is the ultimate. Laksa is my jam. One of the reasons I’m proud to have Malaysian/Chinese heritage.
I can’t get through a cold winter without a big bowl of this Malaysian noodle soup. This better-known spicy, coconutty version also known as Curry Mee (Curry Noodles) is actually one of a few varieties of Laksa. There are lesser known versions that I might touch on one day.
The word laksa comes from the Sanskrit term lakh which means ten thousand. This is a reference to the number of ingredients that make up this luxurious soup.
Am I going to make you do all that work from scratch? Nah. You totally could, but my go-to method for a Sunday night bowl uses ready-made laksa paste that I invigorate with some fresh ingredients . You can find the paste online or in your local asian grocer. The ready-made pastes are actually pretty great. I could spend an extra half hour prepping and grinding the paste myself and the result would probably be 10% better. Is it worth it? For a special occasion, probably. For a monthly meal? No way.
The process is simple enough: Make the soup, prep your bowl ingredients, blanch them right before serving and then top with soup. As you can tell by the photos, there are a few components, but you can totally give or take on these.
I’ve kept it simple and also SALTed the dish by using Shirataki noodles. These noodles are a wonder. They’re made with glucomannan starch exctracted from devil’s tongue yams. It’s an indigestible dietary fiber similar to what you find in chia seeds that basically passes straight through you, giving you a noodle with zero net calories and zero net carbs (source). This fiber also nourishes the good bacteria in your gut. What a miracle food!
The rest of the toppings are totally up to you. I added chicken for some lean protein, eggplant to sop up the sauce, bean sprouts for vegetable bulk and asian chives to bring a fresh garlic flavor without the BAM.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 mins
Makes 6 serves
1 Pack of Laksa Paste
2 long red chilis, deseeded
1 stalk of lemongrass, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch of ginger, finely sliced
2 cans of coconut milk
1 packet of fried tofu puffs, halved
4 packets of shirataki noodles
2 chicken breasts
1 chinese eggplant (long and thin), sliced
1lb green beans (snake beans, if they’re available), topped and tailed and cut into 2 inch bits
1.5 lbs of bean sprouts
1 bunch asian chives, cut into thirds
Fried onion, for garnish
Green onion, for garnish
Cilantro, for garnish
Soft boiled egg, for garnish
Method (and a touch of madness)
- Boil a pot of water (about 4 cups) and drop in the chicken breasts. Leave to sit until fully cooked (about 20 minutes).
- In a food processor or nutribullet, add all the paste ingredients and whiz until no large chunks are left.
- Over low heat in a large pot, heat the paste. Add a little bit of oil, if things start to stick.
- Once red oil starts to separate from the paste, add in coconut milk and stock from the chicken breasts and bring to a low simmer.
- Slice the chicken breasts into thin slices.
- Boil another pot of water and start blanching the rest of the bowl ingredients. Dunk ’em, wait about a minute and then take them out and keep them all separated. I like to steam the eggplant to get that silky texture, but that’s up to you.
- Add the tofu puffs into the soup and start assembling:
- Bean sprouts on the bottom
- Noodles on top
- Pour soup over the top
- Top with 3-4 slices of chicken, eggplant, chives and garnish with some fruit onion, green onion and cilantro and a soft boiled egg
Guide for the ‘arians:
- Flexitarian – good
- Pescetarian – substitute shrimp for chicken
- Vegetarian – use this recipe for the paste, substitute slices of firm tofu for the chicken
- Omnivore – good
- Vegan – use this recipe for the paste, substitute slices of firm tofu for the chicken
- Gluten free – good
- Lactose free – good