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Nyonya Curry Laksa Recipe by Ping Coombes

This nyonya curry laksa recipe is very common in Malaysia – a steaming bowl of fragrant, spicy broth with noodles, prawns and egg. The key component is the spice paste, which takes a bit of time, but once you’ve made it, you can keep it in the fridge for up to a month. Alternatively, there are very good shop-bought pastes available.

Serves 4


1.2 litres water
1 quantity of Laksa Paste
250ml coconut milk
1 tbsp chicken stock powder
1 tbsp of salt
6 pieces of bean curd puff, cut in half
100g dried rice vermicelli
50g bean sprouts
400g pack of fresh yellow noodles
salt (optional)

For the chicken and prawns
2 boneless chicken thighs, skin on
¼ tsp salt
350ml water
½ lemongrass stalk, bashed
200g shelled raw tiger prawns

For the garnish
Bunch of mint leaves
2 medium free-range eggs, soft boiled or hard boiled, peeled and halved
4 lime wedges
4 tsp shrimp chilli oil
crispy shallots, to serve


1. Rub the chicken thighs with salt and set aside for at least 20 minutes at room temperature.
2. Place the chicken in a saucepan, cover with the water and salt, add the lemongrass, bring to a simmer and poach over a low heat for 15–20 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool, then cut the meat into strips, discarding the skin.
3. Poach the prawns for 2–3 minutes in the same poaching liquid. Once they are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside. Instead of just using water, you can use the poaching liquid to make the laksa broth – just top it up with water until it reaches 1.2 litres and discard the lemongrass stalk.
4. Bring the water or poaching liquid, laksa paste, coconut milk, chicken stock powder and salt to the boil. Add the bean curd puff and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat, taste and add salt if necessary.
5. Place the rice vermicelli and bean sprouts in a heat-proof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 5 minutes, then add the fresh yellow noodles to the hot water and leave them for 3 minutes.
6. Drain the vermicelli, bean sprouts and noodles and divide them between 4 serving bowls.
7. Arrange slices of chicken, prawns, a few mint leaves and the halved eggs on top of noodles.
8. Strain the laksa broth through a fine sieve into a bowl or jug and remove the bean curd puffs. Place 3 slices of puff on top of each bowl of noodles. Make sure that the broth is still piping hot (heat it again if not), pour the broth over the noodles.
9. Serve with lime wedges, Shrimp Chilli Oil and a sprinkling of crispy shallots.


MALAYSIA cover (1)
Crowned Masterchef Champion 2014 Ping Coombes has become a global ambassador for Malaysian Food. In her debut book Malaysia: Recipes from a Family Kitchen, Ping Coombes shares all the secrets and delights of this extraordinary cuisine. Drawing inspiration from her mother and from the late-night stalls and street markets in her hometown of Ipoh, Ping has put together over 100 delicious recipes that serve as a perfect introduction to the tastes and textures of Malaysian cooking. Chilli crab and caramel pork, spicy laksas and rendangs, satays and tangy sambals: these classic dishes are intensely satisfying to make, share and devour!

Welcome to Ping’s family table – and as Ping’s mother would say, ‘sek fan la!’: come and eat!

Ping Coombes Ping Coombes
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