How to make the perfect bowl of Singapore Chicken Laksa.
This Singapore Chicken Laksa recipe is especially dedicated to those who do not eat prawns or just want an equally rich – but more affordable dish! Prawns can be expensive, I get it. You will love this yummy, rich, lemak recipe that doesn’t taste like curry chicken! By the way if you want an easy chicken curry recipe, I have it right here.
In case you’re looking for an authentic Singapore Laksa recipe featuring prawns, then you want to head here.
Let me tell you a bit of a secret – I have a very mild allergy to prawns. It’s not terrible that I have to take medication if I take too much shrimp, but my nose and throat will start itching. So I get it. I’ve been making more of this Chicken Laksa versus the original Laksa which uses a hearty shrimp broth because of this.
Making the Laksa Base Paste
The base paste is the exact same as the laksa paste in my original recipe.
I still add the belachan and dried shrimps to my paste, and I have no issues with it. If you are allergic to seafood then do not add the belachan and dried shrimps. It will not taste as complete – but it’s still good, trust me! I would not recommend replacing it with anything else, as it will veer too much from the laksa flavour.
If you insist on that umami flavour, instead of salt, use soy sauce to season that added umami. You also add a teaspoon of mushroom seasoning powder or Maggi Seasoning Sauce for the umami.
The Best Chicken Stock
It’s all about the Chicken Stock to make the perfect Chicken Laksa. This chicken broth uses minimal ingredients, but produces the most delicious, wholesome stock. It’s extremely easy, but it does take some time to cook to get the best flavour. Check out my chicken stock recipe for more details.
A key step is to sear the chicken in oil before adding water to it. This cooks off the blood and surface of the chicken, so that you won’t end up with a gamey, sort of fishy-flavoured stock.
Another (healthier) way around this is to parboil the chicken by boiling the chicken in water for just a couple of minutes until the blood cooks off. Discard the scummy water and make the stock with fresh water. I prefer the searing method simply due to convenience.
I made just enough stock for this recipe, but why not make extra and keep the stock in the freezer! Chicken stock is ultra versatile.
I also cooked the chicken meat for the laksa topping here just until it cooks through. Do not cook it for longer, as the flavour will leech into the chicken soup. While you will end up with an even concentrated chicken soup, you will have bland, flavourless chicken!
How to make Rich Chicken Laksa Gravy
There are two components to good laksa gravy:
- A properly cooked base paste
- Rich coconut milk
To properly cook the base paste, stir fry it over low heat, until it dries down and has a darker colour. If you added a lot of oil, the oil should also turn red, and floating above the paste. This step might take a while, but just be patient. The resulting flavour is a super delicious, rich, broth with fully developed flavours. This is the similar to properly cooking dried chilli paste, check out my ‘pecah minyak’ post on this for even greater detail.
The coconut milk is essential for a rich, creamy lemak broth! I used coconut cream, which is a thicker coconut milk that is easily available in supermarkets here. You can use the more liquid coconut milk as well. Adjust the amount for the richness.
Spicy Sambal as Topping
I personally cannot have laksa without some bomb spicy sambal! Check out my recipe right here. By the way, even though dried chilli paste is used in this laksa, it’s not that spicy. It’s a very mild spice, but of course, adjust the dried chilli paste amount to your tolerance.
More recipes like this:
If you love this Singapore noodle recipe, you might love these too:
- Mee Siam | spicy, sour Malay-style vermicelli noodles in gravy
- Singapore Hokkien Mee
- Mee Rebus | Malay noodles in potato gravy
- Mee Goreng | Malay spicy fried noodles
Singapore Chicken LaksaCourse: Recipes
- Easy Chicken Stock
500g Chicken carcass/spare parts
1 whole onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 litres Water
300g Chicken Meat, for laksa topping
- Laksa Paste
100ml of Dried Chilli Paste or 10 Dried Chillies, soaked in boiling water
5 Red Chillies
1 medium Onion or 2-3 shallots
2-3 Garlic Cloves
20g or 1 tbsp Ginger
20g or 1 tbsp Galangal
20g or 1 tbsp Fresh Turmeric or 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 Lemongrass Stalks, inner white core
20g or 1 tbsp Belachan or Fermented Dried Shrimp Paste (omit for non-seafood dish)
30g or 1 tbsp Dried Shrimps, soaked in warm water (omit for non-seafood dish)
1 tbsp Coriander Seeds
1-2 tbsps Water, if needed for easier blending
- Laksa Gravy
1.5-2 litres of Easy Chicken Broth
400ml Coconut Cream
1 tbsp Salt, or to taste
1 tbsp Brown Sugar, or to taste
1 pack or 10 Fried Tofu Puffs or Taopok
- Noodle Assembly
4 Servings of Laksa Noodles
300g cooked Chicken Meat, shredded
Prawns or Shrimps (omit for non-seafood dish)
Blanched Bok Choy (or your fave veggies)
Spicy Sambal (optional)
- Making the Easy Chicken Stock
- Add oil to the pot, and once hot, add chicken carcass and spare parts. Allow to sear until the chicken surface is not pink.
- You can also add the chicken meat parts that will be laksa topping here as well, and keep note of these chicken pieces.
- Once the surface of the chicken is seared and not pink, add onion, garlic and water. Allow this to come to a boil, and once boiling turn the heat down so it gently simmers.
- About 20 minutes in, take out all of the chicken meat parts. Check that they are fully cooked before removing from the stock. Shred these chicken pieces for the laksa topping. Then let the rest of the stock to simmer for at least 1 hour.
- At the 1-hour mark, chicken stock is done! Strain the chicken stock for a clearer soup.
- Blending the Laksa Paste
- Blend together all of the ingredients for the laksa paste. Add water bit by bit if it is not blending smoothly.
- Making the Laksa Gravy
- To a pot, add some oil. Once hot, add the laksa base paste and stir fry this over low heat until fragrant, or when the paste has dried to a darker colour. This can take a while, given the amount of laksa paste that we have, and depending on how much additional water added to blend. This is similar to cooking dried chilli paste, refer to my “How to ‘pecah minyak’ and cook dried chilli paste” post here.
- Once it has dried down, add coconut cream or milk. Give all of that a stir to incorporate, and let that come to a bubbly boil.
- Once that happens, add the chicken stock. Stir through and let that incorporate.
- Season with salt – if you used belachan, use less salt – as well as sugar. Throw in tofu puffs at this stage.
- Let the gravy come to a boil. Once it boils, laksa gravy is done.
- Laksa Assembly
- Cook or blanch laksa noodles according to the packet instructions. Boil prawns or shrimps if using too.
- Add noodles to a bowl, and top with the shredded chicken, boiled prawns, boiled eggs and blanched vegetables. Serve!
- Option to serve this with a delicious spicy sambal.