Cooking with kids: Laksa (Malaysian noodle soup) recipe

Eating with chopsticks and slurping noodle soup is a good way to get kids to become a little more adventurous in their eating. This Malaysian laksa recipe serves 2 generously.


  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • fresh ginger, thumb-sized piece
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 400 ml coconut milk (1 can)
  • 500 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 lime
  • few handfuls of assorted fast-cooking vegetables – sugar snap peas, mange-tout, bok choi, baby corn, etc.
  • 150 grams prawns
  • 200 grams rice noodles – I prefer the wide flat ones
  • to garnish: red chilli and coriander leaves (optional)


  1. Finely slice the spring onions; finely chop the garlic and ginger; place all three in a saucepan large enough to make the whole soup.
  2. Add the oils and gently sweat the onion, garlic and ginger over a low heat to soften them.
  3. Add the tomato puree and peanut butter and stir to combine.
  4. Add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and sugar, and bring to the boil.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes and then taste. Add this point, add the juice of half or the whole lime to make it sharper, add more fish sauce to make it saltier, or add more sugar to make it sweeter or less salty.
  6. Chop your vegetables into bite-sized pieces and add to the broth – cook for 2 minutes.
  7. If using raw prawns, add at the same time as the vegetables and also cook for 2 minutes; if using cooked prawns, add right at the end just to heat through.
  8. Cook your rice noodles according to the packet instructions and drain thoroughly.
  9. To assemble: in a soup bowl, place a pile of noodles in the bottom, ladle the soup over the top, and garnish with fresh coriander, sliced red chilli (if using) and a squeeze of lime juice


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