Vegetarian / Vego Option

Low FODMAP Chicken & Prawn Curry Laksa

January 10, 2020

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 […]

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Overhead shot of two bowls of low FODMAP chicken and prawn curry laksa soup, with side garnishes of bean sprouts, lime, chilli, coriander and mint on separate plates. Surface is white hexagonal tiles.

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.

Close-up overhead shot of a bowl of fresh chicken and prawn curry laksa soup, garnished with coriander sprigs, bean sprouts, a lime wedge and rolled peeled cucumber

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.

Overhead shot of ingredients used for low FODMAP laksa paste on a white hexagonal tiled table

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.

Low FODMAP laksa paste ingredients in bowl of food processor
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Close-up overhead shot of a bowl of fresh chicken and prawn curry laksa soup, garnished with coriander sprigs, bean sprouts, a lime wedge and rolled peeled cucumber

Low FODMAP Chicken & Prawn Curry Laksa

  • Author: Ashlyn Lincoln
  • Prep Time: 20 mins (paste) | 15 mins (laksa soup)
  • Cook Time: 5 mins (paste) | 40 mins (laksa soup)
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Cuisine: Malaysian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

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)
  • 26 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

Instructions

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. 

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Add the coconut sugar and fish sauce. Fry for 2 minutes.
  4. 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!
  5. 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. 
  6. Add the prawns and snow peas to the broth, and cook for 3 minutes or until the prawns are almost opaque. Remove from heat. 
  7. 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.

Notes

  • 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. 

FODMAP Notes

  • 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. 
Close-up 45 degree angle shot of a bowl of fresh chicken and prawn curry laksa soup, garnished with coriander sprigs, bean sprouts, a lime wedge and rolled peeled cucumber

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  1. Anna says:

    This recipe sounds amazing but I can’t have any coconut products. Do you think almond milk would work in this recipe?

  2. YAY!!!!! I’m so happy to hear that your whole family loved it. Thanks for reminding me of this recipe actually – I’d forgotten about it and must make it again soon! Thanks again Susan xxx

  3. Susan Benson says:

    Hi Ashlyn- This Laksa recipe rocks! Made it last night for my entire family and even my picky children loved it!!! I can’t wait to have the leftovers today. ? I recently started low FODMAPs diet and have been struggling with finding low FODMAP healthy recipes. So happy to have stumbled onto your amazing blog. Can’t wait to try the other recipes here! Love your work!

  4. Hey Celeste! Oh I’m so glad to hear I can help. THANK YOU lovely lady xxx

  5. Celeste McDonald says:

    Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou I just stumbked across this looking for low fodmap recipes as I am unable to tolerate onion and garlic in any form (except garlic infused olive oil) and I am so glad your in melbourne

  6. Hey Nicole! Oooooh thanks for pulling me up on this – I’m aware that they’re not classified as high FODMAP anymore, but had completely completely forgotten to update this post. THANK YOU! X

  7. Nicole says:

    Wow, so delighted to have stumbled across this! Love love love laksa… One thing – bean sprouts are actually Low FODMAP, so perfect for a laksa (see http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/low-high.html)

  8. Hey there, Jen!

    Thanks SO much! I’m glad you stumbled across it too! Your work sounds incredibly fascinating, I truly wish you lived in Melbourne so I could have a session with you! The low FODMAP diet was made by a fellow Aussie, Dr Sue Shepherd. It’s been absolutely revolutionary to the IBS and intolerance world (in Australia, at least!). I can’t believe it hasn’t reached you yet. I knew I needed to eat this specific way after taking intolerance breath tests which revealed I’m intolerant to fructose (including fructan) and sorbitol. However, because the diet is targeted mostly at IBS sufferers and I’m only fructose, it restricts most dairy, which I don’t need to do as I’m not lactose intolerant.

    I don’t believe any nutrients are really missed by following the diet so long as you’re consuming a wide variety of nutritious whole foods from the huge list of things you can eat, because there’s so much you can still consume from each nutritional category. It’s not a rigid or permanent diet either, because everyone’s intolerances are different, and I’ve slowly reintroduced large amounts of many of the moderately FODMAP-containing foods like broccoli, sweet potato, avocado etc. However, I don’t know why anyone would go on the diet if they didn’t have to, because I’d MUCH rather be able to eat high fructose/fructan things like apples, mango, kale, onion, garlic etc. for nutritional AND taste reasons! I miss them a lot. Does all that make sense?

    I’ll be publishing a page dedicated to fructose malabsorption and my experience with the Low FODMAP diet very soon!

    Thanks again for all the kind words. You’re lovely.
    Ashlyn xxxxx

  9. Yay for Laksa!!! X

  10. Hey Lauren!

    Wow, thanks so much for the awesome feedback! You’ve certainly put a smile on my dial 😀

    Thanks a BUNCH xxxxxx

  11. Hey Wan! How good is Laksa?! I’m sure you would make a much better one than me! xxxx

  12. Jen says:

    Hi Ashlyn,

    Discovered you randomly on instagram a couple weeks ago and I’m s thrilled I did! LOVE your work. I am a holistic nutrition and wellness practitioner in Los Angeles (I basically do emotional and spiritual work while working to clear the physical body using nutrition, movement and breath work, so my clients can access their intuition and inner wisdom more naturally and gracefully). Anyway, I have never heard of FODMAPs until you, which is nuts because IBS and celiacs run like wildfire in the States. I’ve read a lot of controversial information on it. How did you know for sure that you needed to eat this specific way? I’m reading that if people don’t have a FODMAPs intolerance to not even TRY it because it can be harmful (missing out of a lot of good nutrition). What do you know about this? I’d love to read your resource. THANKS SO MUCH!!! Keep up all the yummy goodness 🙂 You’re a gem.

    Jen

  13. haelios says:

    Hola from Malaysia and I love laksa too! Keep posting healthy recipes! Xxoo

  14. Wan says:

    Hey Ashlyn, hola from Malaysia and I love laksa too! AND keep posting healthy recipes!!! Xxoo

  15. Hey Lauren!
    What a lovely thing to say, thank you so much! You made my morning 🙂 xxxxxxxx

  16. lauren says:

    Hi Ashlyn,
    i just found your blog and I LOVE it! Not only do your recipe’s sound so delicious and indulgent (yet full of nourishing ingredients) but i love your writing style and pictures too! I cant wait to read more 🙂

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