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Laksa a Taste of Malaysia

Updated on September 19, 2014

Let me tempt you with a bowl of luscious laksa

It's delicious, it's addictive, it's rich, slightly sweet and strongly spiced. It's laksa!

Even the name is delightful. It rolls off your tongue and tempts your tastebuds. Try it.

So what exactly is laksa? It's a coconutty broth with lemongrass and galangal and diced Vietnamese mint piled with tofu and poached seafood and chilli and sambal - and, and, anything else you want to put into it. .... all combined with fat egg noodles and skinny rice vermicelli.

Laksa in Four Simple Steps - Simple

No matter what style of Laksa you want to make, the four steps are the same - lay out the ingredients, prepare the noodles, make the paste, add ingredients. This one is with seafood. If could easily be with chicken.

  1. Prepare the seafood. Peel and devein the prawns. Set aside
  2. Place rice noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water, leave to soak for 10 minutes. Then drain the noodles in a colander, rinse them in cold water and set aside.
  3. Add oil to a pan and, when warm, add the laksa paste and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and stir, then leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  4. When the coconut milk mixture is ready, add the noodles, any ingredients such as cucumber, beansprouts etc and juice of one lime. Add salt to taste, bring back to a simmer, add the prawns and cook for 3-5 minutes until the prawns have turned pink.

Prepare seafood/chicken

Soak noodles in boiling water 10 mins

Add paste to warm pan 2 mins

Add milk simmer 2 mins


  • 250 g rice vermicelli
  • 20 ml (1 tbs) peanut oil
  • 1/4 cup good-quality laksa paste
  • 750 ml (3 cups) fish or vegetable stock
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 750 g green prawns de-veined shelled tails on
  • 250 g scallops
  • 100 g deep-fried tofu quartered
  • 100 g bean sprouts trimmed
  • 1/2 cup each fresh coriander Vietnamese mint and Thai basil leaves plus extra to serve
  • 1 small red chilli
  • seeds removed cut into thin strips
  • 500 g chopped peanuts to serve
  • Fried Asian shallots to garnish


  1. Method
  2. 1. Place the vermicelli in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 10 minutes to soak. Drain and set aside.
  3. 2. Place oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the laksa paste and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the stock, bring to the boil, then add the coconut milk and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the green prawns, scallops and deep-fried tofu and cook for 2 minutes before adding 1 teaspoon of salt.
  4. 3. Divide the noodles between serving bowls, top with the bean sprouts and the fresh herbs. Pour the laksa soup over the noodles, dividing the seafood equally among the bowls. Garnish with slices of chilli, peanuts, shallots and the extra fresh herbs.
  5. Notes & tips
  6. * * Ingredients should be available from Asian supermarkets. If the Vietnamese mint and Thai basil are unavailable, substitute with extra fresh coriander.
Cast your vote for Printable Laksa Recipe

Serve your Laksa in bright bowls - That extra touch!

Zak Designs Ella Individual Bowls, Orange, Set of 6
Zak Designs Ella Individual Bowls, Orange, Set of 6

Bright and cheerful melamine for indoors or out


Want to make your own Laksa Paste?

You can get very nice laksa paste in jars. Any supermarket in Australia stocks it and plenty of small corner shops do too but, if you want to make your own, it's not difficult at all.

The problem is having all the ingredients at the one time. I rarely do.

How to make your own Laksa Paste

If you really must!

* 1 Red Onion

* Pinch of Sea Salt

* 2 tablespoons Ginger (Chopped)

* 4 Cloves

* 1 teaspoon Turmeric (Chopped)

* 1 Stalk Of Lemongrass (Bottom 1/3 Only - Chopped)

* 10 Dried Chilis

* 6 Candle Nuts (Or Macadamia)

* ½ teaspoon Shrimp Paste

* 1 bunch Coriander Root (And Stems)

* 10 Vietnamese Mint Leaves

* 1 teaspoon Coriander Seed

* 1 teaspoon Fennel Seed

* 4 Cardamom Pods

* 1 teaspoon Cumin Seed

* 4 Cloves Garlic

* ½ teaspoon Cinnamon


1. Blend all ingredients in a blender, place in a suitable container, cover with a little oil. You can refrigerate laksa paste for up to a month.

Yum! A bowl of Laksa

Meutia Chaerani / Indradi Soemardjan

Said to be the creation of long-ago Chinese migrants to Malaysia, this mouthwatering meal in a bowl traveled down from Malaysia, through Indonesia, to end up as one of Australia's favourite dishes.

Take one spoonful, and you will immediately understand why.

Prawn versus Shrimp

What's the difference between prawns and shrimp? Solely a linguistic one.

In Britain the term "shrimp" is the more general of the two, and is the only term used for Crangonidae and most smaller species. "Prawn" is the more special of the two names, being used solely for Palaemondiae and larger forms, never for the very small ones.

In North America the name "prawn" is almost entirely replaced by the word "shrimp" and used for even the largest species, which may be called "jumbo shrimp".

In Australia we eat 'prawns'- we boil them, steam them, poach them or throw them on the BBQ - and those 'shrimp' things are very tiny creatures usually found in a can, or made up into a paste.

Shrimp Paste

The tiny shrimp fished in southeast Asia are made into blacang, a fermented shrimp paste used as seasoning.

Singaporean, Malaysian & Indonesian Cuisine

Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia
Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia

A glossary of ingredients, seasonings, spices and herbs is followed by recipes for stocks, condiments, pickled salads, sambal chilli sauces and assorted spice pastes. These spice pastes (used in many of the recipes) are what gives this cuisine its fragrant, rich and savoury flavours.

A 'must have' for those who want a taste of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia .. with easy instructions for any level of cook


Laksa means 'ten thousand' - there are ten thousand ways to make it

© 2008 Susanna Duffy

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    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      Have spent time in Singapore and really love Malaysian food

    • k4shmir profile image

      k4shmir 4 years ago

      i like laksa too. thanks for sharing

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 4 years ago

      I've never had this but I'm inspired to try making it myself, I hope I can find laksa paste locally! Yum, great lens.

    • snazzy lm profile image

      snazzy lm 4 years ago

      I love laksa! Wish I could make it as well as my local though. Mmmm! Not sure about the vietnamese mint though? Never had that in my laksa.

    • profile image

      myelizacitra1 4 years ago

      Last year i got a chance to visit Malaysia and there i really enjoy laksa.By reading this post laksa taste come alive. I really want to visit Malaysia again if i got another chance only for laksa.

    • Ronlove LM profile image

      Ronlove LM 5 years ago

      Very nice lens Laksa looks good.

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      Love laksa, I cheat and eat the tinned laksa soups though

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yummy laksa. You can find very tasty and delicious laksa in Malaysia.

    • profile image

      xmen88 5 years ago

      I am already hungry after looking at the bowl of laksa.

    • profile image

      SandyPaw 5 years ago

      Right! I am cooking laksa tonight! I thought it was hard but this is easy

    • profile image

      Glendame 5 years ago

      Yum and double yum - this is so easy even I can do it Making laksa tonight

    • profile image

      Ask_Me 5 years ago

      I had not known laksa was so easy!

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 5 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      I absolutely love Chicken Laksa but have never tried making it myself. You make it sound very easy so I just may give it a go

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I think you should add Sarawak's Laksa,it uses 'mihun'(instead of yellow mee)& the 'kuah' tastes different too :) but,thanks for 'serving' a nice lens!

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love your Lenses, they always make me hungry :)

    • profile image

      blanckj 6 years ago

      This was a wonderful lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • anaamhussain profile image

      anaamhussain 6 years ago

      What a yummmyy lens :)

    • izni lm profile image

      izni lm 6 years ago

      This is a great lens on Malaysian food..and I love laksa too! Although there are many shops and stalls selling laksa but not all can make really tasty soup.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @snazzy lm: Fried tofu-bok ... you should see them right next to tofu product or soy milk area in Oriental grocery store.

    • masz09 profile image

      masz09 6 years ago

      laksa is very yummy... I like it..., but do not know how to cook it. Usually I just bought it. Thank you for sharing the recipe. It's near midnight, and I kind hungry,

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm just enjoying laksa!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I would love to have some laksa right now...yum

    • snazzy lm profile image

      snazzy lm 7 years ago

      I love laksa! Do you happen to know how to make the squares of spongy stuff they sometimes garnish it with? I suspect it may be some form of tofu, do you know the stuff I mean? Its yummy:-)

    • ojahyazid profile image

      ojahyazid 7 years ago

      nice to find someone who enjoys laksa soo much :)

      am glad I'm here in Malaysia where varieties of laksa in available in the laksa penang.. laksa kelantan..laksam.. laksa johor and assam laksa... yummm :D

    • profile image

      scar4 7 years ago

      The laksa really tempts me!

    • lilmuchang1 profile image

      lilmuchang1 7 years ago

      gosh, want some laksa right nowwww!! i prefer laksam = or laksa kelantan :)

    • mich1908 profile image

      mich1908 7 years ago

      I loved laksa. So do my sons. There's nothing quite like Penang laksa. Yummy! Nice lense.

    • lankanwriter profile image

      lankanwriter 7 years ago

      In Penang now for a holiday, looks like a great dish to try out while in Penang :-)

    • profile image

      Urban_Globetrotter 7 years ago

      Hey nice lens, I put it in my lensroll. I hope you can do the same! Here's to our next laksa. cheers

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 7 years ago

      I don't do Tofu, it's a texture thing lol...but other than that it looks and sounds fantastic!


    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      I have got to try this! Sounds great.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I've never heard of laksa before, but it looks interesting (especially the noodles)! I'm not sure if all of the ingredients are at our local Asian stores. I'll have to take a look. : )

    • profile image

      audioguidemalaysia 7 years ago

      Laksa is a true Malaysian culinary gem. It should be made the national food of Malaysia instead of nasi lemak. Audio Guide Malaysia

    • wahlees profile image

      Barry Wah Lee 8 years ago from Auckland

      What a great subject for a lens,well done,or just right.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      actually, laksa is more famous in Malaysia rather than Singapore or Indonesia. You can get the best laksa in the state of Penang in Malaysia. The same thing goes for sambal also. But U can find sambal everywhere in Malaysia

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      yummy dishes.

      Thanks for sharing.


    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Oh my word! The intro had my mouth watering, and we just finished dinner, so I'm not hungry! YUM!

      You're officially blessed! And welcome to the group!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      Welcome to the Hungry Squidz Choice Group. Please stop by the group and grab the blue ribbon for your lens!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      This sounds simply wonderful! I would love for you to submit this recipe lens to Hungry Squidz Choice Group.

    • Sniff It Out profile image

      Sniff It Out 8 years ago

      Great lens, and I love laksa! I actually made it with fresh salmon the other evening, it made a nice change. Thanks for adding your lens to The Cooks Cafe group

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      I'm allergic to seafood, but your lens is great. Thanks for adding it to Culinary Favorites From A to Z.

    • profile image

      ChristiannaGarrett-Martin 9 years ago

      I does look delicious! A meal in a bowl. A great Lens.


    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Not for me. But I loved the lens.

    • WhitU4ever profile image

      WhitU4ever 9 years ago

      Fantastic lens! 5 *'s. Is this available here in the states? Looks delicious... now I'm hungry!

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 9 years ago

      I'm really intrigued by the use of 2 different types of noodles, I've never seen that before.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 9 years ago

      Laksa is new to me, too. With so many ingredients it looks pretty complicated to make and I was wondering if this is one of those dishes that are usually cooked in a larger quantity - for a few meals or for a lot of people...

      Either way, it looks yummy! :)

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      I love this lens, what a delicious looking dish! 5* to you!

    • dreamsgate lm profile image

      dreamsgate lm 9 years ago

      Oooh, that looks so good. i wonder if I can actually pull off making it, or will I need to go find someone to cook it for me....

      any volunteers?

    • Robyco profile image

      Robyco 9 years ago

      Going to have to give some of these dishes a go, will let you know how we get on.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 9 years ago from Croatia

      Yummy, yummy, yummy... I'm hungry now! Wonderful lens!

    • AslanBooks profile image

      AslanBooks 9 years ago

      Just say 'No' to Laksa...jk...

    • profile image

      bobzbazzar 9 years ago

      Never heard of it but must be good as i feel very hungry now

      good lens

      Regards Bob

    • James20 profile image

      James20 9 years ago

      I have never heard of this but it sounds good. If I make this I might have to get a hold of you if I run into problems.


    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 9 years ago from Edinburgh

      I absolutely love Laksa, there's a restaurant at home that serves it on it's menu, it is 'dish deelish' as my friend says. 5* xxx

    • aquariann profile image

      aquariann 9 years ago

      I'm a bit of a picky eater, so I can't say laksa looks too appetizing to me ... but I still enjoyed learning about it. Great lens. :D

    • LucyVet profile image

      LucyVet 9 years ago

      I'd never heard of laksa either. Great lens, it sounds great!

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 9 years ago

      What a delicious lens again. I have never heard of Laksa before but I will give it a try with this easy to follow step-by-step recipe. I just hope I will be able to buy all necessary ingredients here. 5*