Spicy Lime Chicken Laksa

These are very hot little firecrackers from the orient. They can be used to add spice to almost any oriental dish. They dry very easily and can be stored and used this way for a long time.

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1 Tbsp. shrimp sauce
2 Thai chile peppers, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 bunch cilantro, both leaves and tender stems
1/4 cup finely sliced fresh lemongrass
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups chicken stock
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn in pieces
1-1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
14 oz. can light coconut milk
4 baby bok choy, trimmed, quartered and roughly chopped


6 oz. package rice vermicelli noodles, soaked in warm water for about 20 minutes
1-1/2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup sugar snap peas, sliced into strips
1/2 seedless cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges


To prepare the Laksa:

Place the shrimp sauce, chile peppers, garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cilantro and lemongrass in a food processor or blender and combine thoroughly until it forms a thin paste, then set aside.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Heat until hot but not smoking, then add the chicken thighs and breast in batches and cook, stirring frequently, until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken and set aside. Add the blended mixture to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes aromatic and starts to brown, about 2-3 minutes.

Stir in the chicken stock, kaffir lime leaves, browned chicken and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir in the coconut milk. Simmer gently for 7-10 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through. Stir in the bok choy and cook until the leaves wilt, a few minutes longer.

To serve:

Drain the rice noodles and divide them evenly among the bowls. Ladle the hot soup over the noodles and garnish each with some bean sprouts, snap peas, cucumber, mint and cilantro leaves. Garnish with wedges of fresh lime.

Recipe from Whole Foods Market.