Bean, Spinach, Sweetcorn and Chicken Laksa

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

  • About

Add more of anything you want to this laksa — treat it as a melting pot for your favourite flavours. Don’t worry if fresh baby sweetcorn are unavailable as the dish is still delicious without them.


  • 2 small onions, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, washed and finely sliced
  • 2 green chillies, finely sliced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2–3 tablespoons
  • finely grated ginger
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 lime leaves
  • 2 lemongrass stems
  • 880 ml (1 ½ pints) light chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthways and lightly brushed with sesame oil
  • 8 fresh baby sweetcorn, brushed with a little sesame oil
  • 20 green beans, topped and tailed
  • 150 g (5 oz) spinach, coarsely shredded
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 80 g (2 ½ oz) rice vermicelli noodles, cooked and refreshed
  • ½ small bunch coriander
  • 12 mint leaves


    Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 5. Sauté onions, leek and chillies in sesame oil until onions start to caramelise, stirring well. Add garlic, ginger, star anise, lime leaves and lemongrass (remove the two outer layers and finely slice the thickest end for 4 cm/1 ½ in; discard the rese) and fry a further 1 minute. Add chicken stock and Thai fish sauce, bring to the boil then turn to a gentle simmer.

    In a frying pan, brown chicken on all sides, add sweetcorn, toss it a little, then roast them all in oven until just cooked, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and slice the chicken when it’s cool enough to handle.

    Bring ‘stock’ back to the boil and add beans, boil 1 minute then add sweetcorn and finely sliced chicken. Return to the boil and stir in spinach and lime juice, check seasoning and remove from heat. Divide vermicelli between four warmed bowls and then pour laksa over them. Top with coriander and mint leaves.