Singapore – Laksa Noodle Soup

Alright, let’s do this. First recipe in the books!

I had no idea where to start on this journey of cooking a recipe from every country in the world, but that was no problem for my trusted friend, Excel. I imported a list of all the countries and used a random number formula to ‘spin the wheel’ for me and select my first stop on the journey: Singapore.

I let out a huge sigh of relief because Asian flavors are in my wheelhouse. It’s a relatively safe choice that will allow me to eaaaaase into the process. After doing some Googling of Singaporean cuisine, I finally decided that I would try to tackle Laksa Noodle Soup! It sounded perfect for the chilly weather we had: fiery and comforting, loaded with delicious noodles and TONS of toppings.

For Laksa, I would say there aren’t a lot of direct substitutions for the heart of the dish: the Laksa paste. It may not be sold at your local grocery store but there are online options as well as specialty stores that should have it. If you want to get overwhelmed, go to a huge Asian grocery store you’ve never been to looking for ingredients you’ve never worked with in the middle of a pandemic. It’s a great time!

I found this recipe from The Woks of Life blog, which is one of my go to sites for Asian recipes. I followed the majority of those ingredients/steps, cutting the recipe in half to make a two person serving. I’ll list out the ingredients we used and any modifications we made to the original recipe in the notes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
  • 0.5 clove garlic (minced)
  • 0.75 tablespoons ginger (minced) – HIGHLY recommend the frozen pre-minced ginger from Trader Joe’s
  • 0.5 stalk lemongrass (tough woody parts removed, minced)
  • 1 serrano pepper (minced) – we didn’t have the Thai chilis but would use those for more authentic flavor
  • 0.25 cup laksa paste
  • 0.5 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 0.5 can coconut milk
  • 0.5 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 0.5 package soy puffs (halved)
  • egg noodles
  • 0.5-1.5 limes (for juicing, and additional lime wedges for serving)
  • 1.5 large shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 1/8 cup all purpose flour
  • 6 large shrimp
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 0.25 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Notes

  • We decided to omit the chicken from the original recipe and just use shrimp and soy puffs as the protein
  • When cooking the shallots, there is a very fine line between crispy and burnt. Ours may or may not have been slightly beyond that line…
  • Overall, this dish was a huge hit–the soup is creamy and luscious and packed with flavor. I love the fact that there are so many layers from the toppings to the chewy noodles. I would definitely make this again!
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