Penang Laksa by Brett McGregor

Penang Laksa by Brett McGregor

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Recipe by Brett McGregor Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: NZ Chefs FavoritesDifficulty: Medium


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I have travelled extensively throughout South East Asia and love the aromatic, spicy cuisine. This Laksa was created whilst on the road in Malaysia during the filming of taste of a traveller. Adding as many fresh herbs as possible brings this dish to life. I love it extra spicy so load it up with as many chillies as you dare. The egg adds such a wonderful texture. You simply cannot have this dish without one.


  • 1.7 litres water

  • 30 raw prawns

  • 1 skinless chicken breast, butterflied

  • 60 ml avocado oil

  • 400 ml coconut cream

  • 10 fried tofu puffs, halved

  • 2 stalks curry leaves

  • 200 g Hokkien egg noodles

  • 200 g flat ribbon noodles

  • 100 g mung beans

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs

  • 0.5 cup fresh coriander

  • 0.5 cup Thai basil

  • 3 tbsp crispy shallots

  • Salt to taste

  • For Laksa Paste**
  • 1 tbsp macadamia oil

  • 5 piece piece galangal, peeled and chopped (or 6cm ginger)

  • 5 piece piece turmeric, peeled and chopped (or 1 tablespoon turmeric powder)

  • 250 g shallots, peeled and chopped

  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 5 to (20) dried red chilies, seeded then soaked in hot water for 30 minutes to soften

  • 6 large fresh red chilies, seeded and chopped

  • 10 macadamia nuts

  • 5 dried prawns, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then drained

  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp paste, toasted

  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, chopped


  • Pour water into a large stockpot and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer, add chicken and let it cook for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken, set aside to cool, then shred the chicken into small pieces. Reserve the stock.
  • Meanwhile, put all the laksa paste ingredients in a pestle and mortar and bash into a fine paste (or blend in a food processor).
  • Heat oil in a wok on medium low heat and add laksa paste and fry for 15 minutes. The paste should be dark brown and a layer of oil separate from the spices.
  • Tip the contents of the wok into the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Pour in coconut cream, add curry leaves, half the mung beans, fried tofu puffs and prawns, season with salt, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer until you are ready to serve.
  • For each serve, grab a small handful each of Hokkien noodles and ribbon noodles, and transfer to a serving bowl. Top the bowl of noodles with remaining mung beans and chicken then ladle the hot laksa broth along with a few tofu puffs and prawns over the top.
  • Finally finish with half a boiled egg, fresh herbs and crispy shallots.

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