Home-made Laksa (Paste & Noodle Soup)

Laksa is a popular dish in South East Asia. There are many types. My home-made version consists of yellow and laksa noodles (thick rice noodles) with prawn, fishball and egg, served in a rich, savoury and spicy coconut milk based gravy. Laksa leaf (Vietnamese coriander) is added giving it a unique aroma.

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  • 1 slice (about 2 inches) of belachan (roast)
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp (soak in hot water till soft, then drain)
  • 3 large fresh chillies (remove seeds, cut into small pieces)
  • 2 dried red chillies (wash, remove seeds, cut into small pieces)
  • 1 tbsp fried onion
  • 1 inch galangal (slice)
  • 3 cloves garlic (slice)
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass (use bottom white bit, slice)
  • 3 candle nuts (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar


1. Roast (fry without oil) the belachan till dry and powdery. The aroma may be overwhelming during roasting but the smell goes away after cooking. Sorry, you can’t leave out this key ingredient if you want a delicious laksa.

2. Place all the remaining ingredients (except oil, salt & sugar) in a grinder. Grind till fine. You could use a mortar and pestle, if preferred.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry the paste over LOW heat till the oil separates out. It is ready to be used to make a delicious laksa. Use 1 Tbsp of the paste for 1 serving of laksa noodle soup. Keep the remainder in the fridge for use on another day.

LAKSA NOODLES (makes 2 servings)

  • 60 gm yellow noodle
  • 60 gm laksa noodles (thick rice noodles)
  • 6 prawns (shelled, keep the shells for making the stock)
  • 4 fish balls
  • A handful of bean sprout
  • 1  egg (boiled for 8 minutes, shelled and quartered)
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp of laksa paste (see above)
  • 1 tablespoon of sambal chilli
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of laksa leaf (Vietnamese coriander) (chopped)


1. Dry fry the prawn shells with 1 Tbsp of oil. Add 1 cup of water and simmer for 15 mins. Strain and set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add laksa paste, sambal chilli and fry over LOW heat till the oil separates out. It is important to ensure the oil separates out – this will give depth of colour, fragrance and taste.

3. Add prawn stock, coconut milk and 2 cups of water and simmer for 15-20 mins. If required, top up with water to ensure there is sufficient laksa soup for 2 servings. Taste the soup and add salt and sugar to your desired taste.

4. Cook the prawns, fish balls, bean sprout in some boiling water. Drain and set aside. Boil the egg, shell and cut them into quarters.

5. Cook the yellow and white rice noodles till tender and drain.  Put the cooked noodles in the serving bowls.

6. Top the noodles with cooked prawns, fish balls, bean sprout, water spinach and boiled egg quarters.

7. Ladle generous amount of laksa gravy over the noodles.

8. Garnish with chopped laksa leaves (Vietnamese coriander).

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