The weather is getting cold, the snow is falling, and people are trying to stay warm. It is wintertime in Minnesota, and most definitely a perfect time to cook up a batch of laksa ayam Jakarta (chicken coconut milk soup). Spicy hot soup is just the perfect remedy for cold weather, don’t you think? 🙂 Serve this spicy chicken soup with some boiled rice vermicellis (Indonesian: bihun rebus) or steamed white rice (Indonesian: nasi putih) and be ready for a second or third helping.
What is laksa?
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup dish popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Southern Thailand. This dish is particularly popular among Chinese descent and is one of the more popular dishes of Peranakan cuisine. Since laksa is such a popular dish in so many different countries, each country, and even each region within a country, has its own distinct variety of laksa. Just in Indonesia alone, we have laksa Medan, laksa Palembang, laksa Bogor, laksa Tangerang, and laksa Jakarta. The laksa recipe I share today is the one that is popular in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia.
What ingredients do I need to prepare laksa ayam Jakarta (Jakarta style chicken laksa)?
Laksa Jakarta, similar to other laksa varieties, is full of spices and herbs, and we will indeed be using plenty of those. First, there’s the laksa spice paste, which is made from:
- ground coriander
- ground turmeric
- ground cumin
- ebi (dried tiny shrimps)
- red chilies, I only use Fresno chilies, but you can also add bird-eye chilies for a spicier laksa
Then, we will also need these to complete the laksa:
- chicken breast/thigh, we are making chicken laksa after all
- chicken stock
- coconut milk
- kaffir lime leaves
- scallions/green onions
- coriander leaves
What is ebi and how do I use this?
Ebi is dried tiny shrimps. You may have spotted these sold in little plastic packets in the refrigerated section in your Asian/Chinese market. These little guys will add so much flavor to your soup, and to be honest, laksa Jakarta just doesn’t taste quite right without them.
How do I use ebi?
To use ebi, simply measure the needed amount, then wash and soak in cold water until slightly puffy and soft. Then you can ground this with the rest of the spice paste ingredients in a blender/food processor to make the laksa spice paste.
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