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Milk Street Bowtie Singaporean Shrimp and Chicken Noodle Soup (Laksa)

Singaporean Shrimp and Chicken Noodle Soup (Laksa)

1 hour 20 minutes

Free

Laksa is a vibrant seafood and chicken noodle soup eaten from breakfast through dinner in Singapore. For maximum flavor, we use the shrimp shells to give flavor to a broth that's seasoned with shallots, lemon grass and Thai red curry. You can boost the spiciness of the soup with extra chili-garlic sauce. If you like, garnish with chopped cucumber, halved hard-cooked eggs and chopped roasted peanuts.

6 medium shallots, peeled and halved
6 medium garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
2 lemon grass stalks, trimmed to the bottom 6 inches, dry outer layers discarded, chopped
2 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 bunch fresh cilantro, tender stems and leaves chopped, reserved separately, plus cilantro leaves, to serve
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled (shells reserved) and deveined
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
14 -ounce container firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into ½-inch cubes
6 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
3 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce, divided, plus more to serve
14 -ounce can coconut milk
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
3 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges, to serve
6 ounces wide (¼ inch) rice stick noodles
Ingredients
  • 6

    medium shallots, peeled and halved

  • 6

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 3

    tablespoons Thai red curry paste

  • 2

    lemon grass stalks, trimmed to the bottom 6 inches, dry outer layers discarded, chopped

  • 2

    -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins

  • 2

    teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 1

    bunch fresh cilantro, tender stems and leaves chopped, reserved separately, plus cilantro leaves, to serve

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    pound large shrimp, peeled (shells reserved) and deveined

  • 1

    pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

  • 14

    -ounce container firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into ½-inch cubes

  • 6

    tablespoons fish sauce, divided

  • 3

    tablespoons chili-garlic sauce, divided, plus more to serve

  • 14

    -ounce can coconut milk

  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper

  • 3

    tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges, to serve

  • 6

    ounces wide (¼ inch) rice stick noodles

Directions
  1. 01
    In a food processor, combine the shallots, garlic, curry paste, lemon grass, ginger, turmeric and cilantro stems. Process until finely chopped, about 20 seconds.
  2. 02
    In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until beginning to smoke. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to char, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the shallot mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the paste begins to stick, about 2 minutes. Add 2 quarts water and bring to a boil over high, then reduce to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. 03
    Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer set over a large heat-safe bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Return the broth to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Stir in the chicken, tofu, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of chili-garlic sauce. Return to a simmer, cover and reduce to low. Cook until a fork inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 30 minutes.
  4. 04
    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the remaining fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of the remaining chili-garlic sauce. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  5. 05
    Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then remove from the heat. Stir in the noodles and let soak until softened, but still chewy, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water and drain again. Divide the noodles evenly among 4 serving bowls.
  6. 06
    When the chicken is cooked, transfer to a bowl, then use 2 forks to shred it into bite-size pieces. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer over medium, then reduce to low. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. 07
    Off heat, stir in the cilantro leaves, the remaining 4 tablespoons fish sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce and the lime juice. Taste and season with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup over the noodles. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges and chili-garlic sauce.
Tip: Don't purchase shrimp that have been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, an additive that improves the shrimps' appearance but also gives them an undesirable saltiness and unappealing texture. Check the label on the package or ask at the seafood counter. Don't discard the shrimp shells; you'll need them to make the broth. If you purchased already peeled shrimp, remove the tails and use them.
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Singaporean Shrimp and Chicken Noodle Soup (Laksa)

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6

Servings

1 hour 20 minutes

Tip

Don't purchase shrimp that have been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, an additive that improves the shrimps' appearance but also gives them an undesirable saltiness and unappealing texture. Check the label on the package or ask at the seafood counter. Don't discard the shrimp shells; you'll need them to make the broth. If you purchased already peeled shrimp, remove the tails and use them.

Ingredients
  • 6

    medium shallots, peeled and halved

  • 6

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 3

    tablespoons Thai red curry paste

  • 2

    lemon grass stalks, trimmed to the bottom 6 inches, dry outer layers discarded, chopped

  • 2

    -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins

  • 2

    teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 1

    bunch fresh cilantro, tender stems and leaves chopped, reserved separately, plus cilantro leaves, to serve

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    pound large shrimp, peeled (shells reserved) and deveined

  • 1

    pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

  • 14

    -ounce container firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into ½-inch cubes

  • 6

    tablespoons fish sauce, divided

  • 3

    tablespoons chili-garlic sauce, divided, plus more to serve

  • 14

    -ounce can coconut milk

  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper

  • 3

    tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges, to serve

  • 6

    ounces wide (¼ inch) rice stick noodles

Step 1 of 7

Process the aromatics

6
medium shallots, peeled and halved
6
medium garlic cloves, peeled
3
tablespoons Thai red curry paste
2
lemon grass stalks, trimmed to the bottom 6 inches, dry outer layers discarded, chopped
2
-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins
2
teaspoons ground turmeric
1
bunch fresh cilantro, tender stems and leaves chopped, reserved separately, plus cilantro leaves, to serve

In a food processor, combine the shallots, garlic, curry paste, lemon grass, ginger, turmeric and cilantro stems. Process until finely chopped, about 20 seconds.

Step 2 of 7

Simmer the broth

1
pound large shrimp shells

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until beginning to smoke. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to char, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the shallot mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the paste begins to stick, about 2 minutes. Add 2 quarts water and bring to a boil over high, then reduce to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 3 of 7

Strain the broth and cook the chicken

1
pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
14
-ounce container firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into ½-inch cubes
1
tablespoon fish sauce
1
tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer set over a large heat-safe bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.


Return the broth to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Stir in the chicken, tofu, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of chili-garlic sauce. Return to a simmer, cover and reduce to low. Cook until a fork inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 30 minutes.

Step 4 of 7

Marinate the shrimp

1
pound large shrimp, peeled (shells reserved) and deveined
1
tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
1
tablespoon fish sauce

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the remaining fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of the remaining chili-garlic sauce. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Step 5 of 7

Cook the noodles

6
ounces wide (¼ inch) rice stick noodles

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then remove from the heat. Stir in the noodles and let soak until softened, but still chewy, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water and drain again. Divide the noodles evenly among 4 serving bowls.

Step 6 of 7

Shred the chicken

14
-ounce can coconut milk

When the chicken is cooked, transfer to a bowl, then use 2 forks to shred it into bite-size pieces. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer over medium, then reduce to low. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 7 of 7

Season and serve

1
bunch fresh cilantro, tender stems and leaves chopped, reserved separately, plus cilantro leaves, to serve
4
tablespoons fish sauce
1
tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
3
tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges, to serve

Off heat, stir in the cilantro leaves, the remaining 4 tablespoons fish sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce and the lime juice. Taste and season with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup over the noodles. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges and chili-garlic sauce.

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