It’s pretty wild to me that this recipe is over six years old now. 2014 witnessed the height of my gastrointestinal woes and I remember being so chuffed with myself when I came up with a low FODMAP version of Le Holy Curry Laksa, after not being able to eat it for years. It feels like I’m talking about a previous life, but back then eating any trace of onion or garlic –and therefore anything with traditional curry paste– was completely out of the question. I thought I’d never be able to tuck into bowl of mouthgasm-inducing laksa from the little Malay man at the Queen Victoria Market again. After many slow rolling tears and failed google searches for FODMAP friendly laksa recipes, I made one. Tbh I’m still pretty chuffed with it, and it’s still my go-to when I’ve got the time to make laksa from scratch.
This recipe comes with the same warning it did way back when:
DO NOT PICK YOUR NOSE WITHIN 12 HOURS OF MAKING THIS PASTE!
And now that I’ve warned you, don’t let curiosity get the better of you. You will absolutely, categorically, regret it.
A few little things I want to mention…
Obviously, this laksa doesn’t have that sexy red hue and orangey oil droplets that traditional laksa does, because, well, green onion. This annoyed me for a while but I got over it eventually. You can close your eyes while you eat it and you won’t know the difference.
Pleeeeeease don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients and the length of the methods. The paste doesn’t take much preparation because you essentially blend everything (as opposed to chopping!), and I’ve designed the recipe so that you can freeze half the paste until the next time you feel like some laksa lovin’. This will save you time later, whilst reducing waste as you’re using whole quantities of produce – winner winner!
It’s definitely worth reading through the recipe and notes below thoroughly before making this – not because it’s difficult, but just because there are several components and the process will be a breeze if you’re across it all.
Lastly, shrimp paste is hella STINKAYYYYYYYYYYY. You’ll probably want to freeze it once you’ve opened it – we couldn’t hack having it in our fridge.Print
For the Laska Paste:
- 1 extra large bunch spring onion (approx. 300g), green part only, chopped
- 3 fresh lemongrass stalks, bottom third only, chopped (reserve leaves for broth)
- 2–6 dried red chillis, depending on desired heat – mild, medium, spicaaaaay
- 4 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- Roots and stems from 1 bunch coriander, chopped (reserve leaves for serving)
- 1 cup pine nuts
- 1 tsp good quality shrimp paste (MSG free)
- 1½ tsp each ground turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin & sweet paprika
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tbs garlic-infused olive oil (regular EVOO is also fine)
For the Laksa Soup:
- 1 cup Low FODMAP Laksa Paste, recipe above
- 350g rice Pad Thai noodles
- 2 x 400mL cans full fat coconut milk, organic if possible
- 1L chicken stock
- 400g raw prawns, wild if possible, peeled and deveined with tails left on
- 4 free range skinless chicken breast fillets, organic if possible
- 1 x 250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
- 180g snow peas, ends pinched and strings removed
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbs coconut sugar (brown sugar is also fine)
- 3 tbs good quality fish sauce
- 2 tbs coconut oil
For the Laksa Toppings:
- 1 large handful fresh coriander leaves
- 1 large handful fresh mint leaves
- 1 cucumber, peeled into ribbons
- 2 large handfuls bean sprouts
- Lime wedges
- Crushed chilli, sambal or Siracha
1. Make the laksa curry paste
Note: this curry paste recipe yields two cups, but the soup recipe only calls for one cup. I’ve doubled it so that next time you want laksa, you don’t have to make the paste all over again, plus it reduces produce waste! Freeze the extra cup of paste for up to three months.
- Place the dried chillies in a small heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to soak for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside.
- While the chillies are soaking, heat a medium frying pan over low heat. Add the ground paprika, turmeric, coriander and cumin. Toast for 5 minutes or until lovely and fragrant, gently shaking the pan a few times.
- Add all the ingredients to a high-powered food processor and blitz until a paste forms, pausing to scrape the bowl down with a spatula as necessary. Divide the paste into two even portions and transfer to airtight containers. If you’re making the paste in advance, cover the top of the paste with olive oil to seal in the flavour and refrigerate for up to one week. Freeze the second portion of paste for up to three months.
2. Make the Laksa Soup
- Place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water (you’ll need a full kettle’s worth). Stand for 8-10 minutes or until the noodles are cooked. Use a fork to separate noodles completely, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pot or wok over medium heat. Fry the paste for 5-7 minutes, or until it becomes lovely and fragrant. Take care not to burn it.
- Add the coconut sugar and fish sauce. Fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, stock, and lime juice. At this point, stir well and taste the broth. Season with a little extra fish sauce or lime juice, if desired. Tie the leftover lemongrass leaves in a knot and add to broth. Tying bruises the leaves enough to release the beautiful essential oils and adds more flavour!
- Increase heat to medium-high. Bring the broth to a full boil, and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Carefully add the whole chicken breasts and tomatoes. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove one breast at the 8-minute mark and cut into the thickest part to see where it’s at – cooking times will vary depending on the size of the breasts. Once cooked through, remove chicken with tongs and place on a clean chopping board. Shred the chicken by taking two forks and using one to hold the chicken in place, and the other to tear the flesh into small, shredded pieces. Set aside.
- Add the prawns and snow peas to the broth, and cook for 3 minutes or until the prawns are almost opaque. Remove from heat.
- While the prawns are cooking, divide the cooked noodles between bowls and top with shredded chicken. Use a slotted spoon to retrieve the prawns and vegetables from the both and divide between the bowls. Stir the broth well, then use a ladle to spoon over the broth. Serve with fresh coriander, mint, peeled cucumber, bean sprouts, chilli sauce, and lime wedges.
- Only use the bottom third of the lemongrass stalks for the paste- that’s where all the flavour is! Make sure you peel off the woody outer layer before using, too.
- Never cooked with coriander roots before? Here’s a handy lil video on preparing them!
- Dried chillies and shrimp paste can be bought from Asian grocers. Some larger supermarkets have them now, too.
- Snow peas are considered high FODMAP in large amounts (22 pods), but a serving of 5 pods is very low in irritants
- Coconut milk is high in polyols when consumed in amounts larger than 3/4 cup. The amount of coconut milk per serving in this recipe should be safe for most people with IBS (it contains no fructose or oligo’s), but if you’re highly sensitive to polyols, try reducing the coconut milk by half and adding a few drops of coconut extract for flavour.