Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Karen Shinto
YieldsServes 4 to 6Total Time1 hr
This spicy Chicken Laksa is a soup that may have a long list of ingredients, but it's super easy. Malaysian kitchens weave Chinese, Indian, and Malay culinary strands into a complex cuisine.

How to Make It

Step 1
1

Grind coriander, peppercorns, cumin, fennel, cloves, turmeric, and chiles coarsely in a spice grinder. Peel tough outer layers from lemongrass, then mash core with a meat mallet or small, heavy frying pan.

Step 2
2

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chicken, shrimp paste, shallots, and reserved spices and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 minutes.

Step 3
3

Pour in coconut milk, broth, sugar, and salt; add cinnamon and lemongrass. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, 20 minutes.

Step 4
4

Boil bean sprouts in a large pot of boiling water until softened, 2 minutes. Transfer sprouts to a bowl. Add noodles to pot and cook until firm, 4 minutes. Drain; rinse well.

Step 5
5

Divide sprouts and noodles among 6 bowls. Ladle in soup (remove cinnamon and lemongrass) and top with mint and cilantro. Serve with limes and sambal.

Step 6
6

*Find in the Asian aisle of a well-stocked grocery store or at an Asian market.

Step 7
7

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1 1/2-cup serving.

Ingredients

 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
 4 cloves
 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
 5 to 8 dried arbol chiles, stemmed
 2 lemongrass stalks
 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
 1 pound boned, skinned chicken thighs, cubed
 1 teaspoon shrimp paste*
 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
 1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
 1 qt. reduced-sodium chicken broth
 2 teaspoons sugar
 3 teaspoons kosher salt
 1 cinnamon stick
 6 ounces mung bean sprouts, rinsed
 8 ounces wide rice noodles
 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn
  Lime wedges
  Sambal oelek chili paste*

Directions

Step 1
1

Grind coriander, peppercorns, cumin, fennel, cloves, turmeric, and chiles coarsely in a spice grinder. Peel tough outer layers from lemongrass, then mash core with a meat mallet or small, heavy frying pan.

Step 2
2

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chicken, shrimp paste, shallots, and reserved spices and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 minutes.

Step 3
3

Pour in coconut milk, broth, sugar, and salt; add cinnamon and lemongrass. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, 20 minutes.

Step 4
4

Boil bean sprouts in a large pot of boiling water until softened, 2 minutes. Transfer sprouts to a bowl. Add noodles to pot and cook until firm, 4 minutes. Drain; rinse well.

Step 5
5

Divide sprouts and noodles among 6 bowls. Ladle in soup (remove cinnamon and lemongrass) and top with mint and cilantro. Serve with limes and sambal.

Step 6
6

*Find in the Asian aisle of a well-stocked grocery store or at an Asian market.

Step 7
7

Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1 1/2-cup serving.

Chicken Laksa
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