Chicken Noodle Soup with Laksa

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

On a recent trip to Australia, I noticed that the word laksa appeared almost universally on menus. A Malaysian word, it usually referred to a spicy noodle soup containing coconut milk. It also was used to describe a spicy coconut milk-based sauce flavored with shrimp. The basis for the laksa is a spice paste that can be made days ahead and refrigerated or frozen.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
  • 3 cups homemade chicken stock or your favorite canned broth
  • cups coconut milk, well stirred
  • 1 cup Laksa Paste, or to taste
  • 2 cups peeled and diced butternut or other hard winter squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, cut in long julienne
  • 4 ounces cooked somen (a thin Japanese wheat flour noodle) or thin rice vermicelli, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • Fresh lime juice to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Trim the Chicken breasts of any fat, cut in half lengthwise, and then, at a steep angle, cut crosswise into slices about inch thick. Stir the soy sauce and rice wine together and toss with the chicken to lightly coat. Set aside to marinate for up to 30 minutes.

Heat the stock and coconut milk in a deep saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the Laksa Paste. Add the butternut squash and simmer for 5 minutes or until the squash is just tender. Meanwhile, coat a wok or large skillet with the olive oil and heat over high heat. Add the chicken and fry until the meat is just cooked through and the slices separate. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Place the zucchini and noodles in warm bowls. Top with the chicken. Taste the stock mixture and add lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Ladle hot stock into the bowls and serve immediately, garnishing with cilantro leaves and green onions, if desired.


If you like with fresh cilantro leaves and green onions, sliced on the bias