With The Royal New Zealand Navy
300g rice stick noodles
2 Tbsp oil
2 cm piece (1tbsp) root ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
2 Tbsp laksa or curry paste, to taste (brands vary considerably in heat)
4 cups chicken stock
400ml coconut cream
1 heaped tsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1-2 whole chillies (optional)
2 tomatoes, cored and diced
2-3 (500-600g) skinless chicken breasts, very thinly sliced
200g baby spinach, washed
Salt & Pepper
150g bean sprouts
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Handful each of coriander and mint leaves
Red chilli, finely sliced
Place rice sticks in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water to cover, stirring to fully submerge.
Leave on the bench to soak while you make the laksa sauce and salad garnish.
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large pot and sizzle ginger, garlic, lime zest and curry paste for a minute.
Add stock, coconut cream, sugar, fish sauce, optional chillies and tomatoes.
Simmer for 5 minutes, then add sliced chicken, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook gently for another 3-5 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Just before serving mix in the spinach and season to taste.
Prepare the salad garnish and set aside.
Drain noodles and divide them between serving bowls.
Ladle the laksa on top and garnish with the salad mix.