100g fine beans, both ends trimmed and cut into 1cm pieces
150g bean sprouts
300g fine egg noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
3 bay leaves (or a sprig of curry leaves)
3 tablespoons chilli paste (I recommend sambal badjak)
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
500g boneless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
200ml coconut milk
1.2 litres chicken stock
2 banana shallots, peeled
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2½cm-piece ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed
2 tablespoons ground coriander
½ tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 eggs, boiled for 8 minutes, peeled and halved
8 sprigs fresh coriander, leaves picked
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

This dish is elaborate and includes a large number of ingredients to give a rich flavour. If you can source Malaysian curry powder, use 2 tablespoons of that instead of the ground mixed spices listed below; you can also use Madras curry powder.


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1.Blitz together the paste ingredients using a handheld stick blender or food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of water until fine and smooth.
2.In a small bowl, mix the ground spices with 100ml water.
3.Put the beans into a bowl and add enough boiling water until well covered. Blanch for 1 minute and then spoon out into a bowl.
4.Using the same water, blanch the bean sprouts for 30 seconds and then transfer to the same bowl as the beans.
5.Using fresh boiling water, repeat the same method for the egg noodles and blanch for 3 minutes. (Please refer to the instructions on the packet if you are using a different size of egg noodles.) Transfer to the bowl with the beans.
6.Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the oil, cinnamon, star anise and bay leaves.
7.Once the spices have started to sizzle and release their aroma, add the shallot paste and sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant.
8.Next, add the chilli paste and spice mixture. Cook for 1 minute, then add the salt, sugar and tamarind and cook for a further minute.
9.Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes to seal the meat.
10.Stir in the coconut milk and cook for 1 minute.
11.Stir in the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low.
12.Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
13.To serve, divide the beans, bean sprouts and noodles between four serving bowls, and pour over the chicken curry.
14.Garnish with the eggs, coriander, chilli and lime wedges.

Recipes extracted
with permission from
Bowlful by Norman
Musa (HarperCollins,
$49.99). Photography
Luke J Albert.