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Thai chicken laksa mildly spiced noodle squash broth

For the chicken:

  • 4 skinless, boneless higher ­welfare chicken thighs
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Chinese five­spice
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 fresh red chilli

For the laska:

  • 1 organic chicken or vegetable stock cube
  • 1 butternut squash, (neck end only)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 thumb­sized piece ginger
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1⁄2 bunch spring onions
  • 1 heaped teaspoon peanut butter
  • 4 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 1⁄2 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon low­salt soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 300 g medium rice noodles
  • 2 bunches asparagus, (600g)
  • 1 x 400 g tin of light coconut milk
  • 3 limes


  • Ingredients out
  • Kettle boiled
  • Griddle pan, high heat
  • Large lidded pan, high heat
  • Food processor (coarse grater & bowl blade)

START COOKING On a large sheet of greaseproof paper, toss the chicken with salt, pepper and the five­spice • Fold over the paper, then bash and flatten the chicken to 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin • Place on the hot griddle pan, turning after 3 or 4 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through • Pour about 800ml of boiling water into the large pan and crumble in the stock cube

Trim the stalk off the squash, roughly chop the neck end (don’t peel, and keep the seed end for another day), then grate and tip into the boiling stock • Swap to the bowl blade in the processor and add the peeled garlic and ginger, the chilli, turmeric, trimmed spring onions, peanut butter, dried lime leaves, coriander stalks (reserving the leaves), sesame oil, soy and fish sauces • Blitz to a paste, then tip into the stock and add the noodles

Trim the asparagus and cut in half • Add to the pan, pour in the coconut milk, and as soon as it boils, taste, correct the seasoning with soy sauce and lime juice, then turn the heat off • Drizzle

the honey over the charred chicken, squeeze over the juice of 1 lime, scatter with the sesame seeds and toss to coat • Serve with the laksa and lime wedges, sprinkling everything with the coriander leaves and slices of fresh chilli

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