The nights are getting colder here in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Australia. It’s time to light the wood fired stove and prepare slow cooked meals. This hearty and spicy soup awakens the taste buds and fills you with the goodness of chicken breast poached in coconut water.
Coconuts are a prized source of food in many cultures, and this laksa brings coconut milk to life with the addition of spicy paste. Chicken breast fillet, slowly poached in coconut water then pulled into bite sized pieces become the protein hero in this soup. Bean thread noodles are a good source of carbohydrate and a fun way to slurp your way to the bottom of a deep bowl of hot broth. Top with fresh carrot, mint, sesame seeds and a lime wedge: relax and enjoy!
For poached chicken:
- 1 large chicken breast fillet
- 2 tbsp coconut milk powder
- 1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
- 300ml water
For laksa soup:
- 100g bean thread vermicelli noodles
- 110g laksa paste
- 200ml reduced fat coconut milk
- 250ml reserved chicken poaching liquid
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp palm sugar
- 20 fresh mint or coriander leaves
- Lime and/or lemon wedges, 2 per serve
- 1/2 cup very finely julienned raw carrot, and/or bean shoots
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted golden brown in a dry pan
To poach chicken: Mix coconut milk powder and vegetable stock powder together, gradually whisk in 300ml hot water until well blended. Place fillet in shallow pan. Pour over liquid and cover. Bake in a slow oven approx. 130C or on the cooktop at the lowest setting until chicken is white all the way through, but still tender. This will take 45 – 60 mins; ensure the water is barely at a simmer. Strain the liquid: reserve 250 ml into a jug as set aside. Allow the chick to cool and then pull into shreds, working with the natural grain of the meat.
Prepare the bean thread vermicelli noodles according to the packet instructions, drain and place a serve at the bottom of each bowl.
To make the soup: Sauté the laksa paste in a teaspoon of olive oil a few minutes, until fragrant aromas are released. Slowly pour in the reserved poaching liquid and coconut milk. Bring to the boil. Add pulled chicken, fish sauce, palm sugar and stir gently until chicken is heated through; do not allow to boil.
Gently ladle the soup over the noodles. Using tongs place the chicken pieces on the noodles, top with carrot, mint, lime and finish with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.