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Laksa pictures (4 of 4)

Laksa is a spice-laden noodle dish that is popular in Malaysia and Singapore; it’s a noodle dish that is quickly gaining popularity outside of Southeast Asia because of the scrumptious taste. To most people, especially the western media, laksa means curry laksa, a noodle dish in coconut milk and curry soup base. The truth is, there are many different  types of laksa but the two dominant ones are curry laksa (coconut milk based) and asam laksa (tamarind based). Laksa is an iconic street food served by street vendors (hawkers) throughout Malaysia, a dish that I grew up eating…

In my hometown Penang, laksa simply means Asam Laksa, a spicy and sour fish-based noodle dish. My Penang laksa recipes are here and here. In Penang, curry laksa is known as curry mee and my recipe is here.

Are you confused yet?

Anyway, today I am sharing a “friendly” laksa recipe with you. I have adapted this laksa recipe so the taste appeals more to the western palate. I also did a twist by adding evaporated milk to the laksa stock, so it’s half coconut milk and half evaporated milk. The end result is a creamier version of laksa without the dominant flavor of coconut milk. To further enhance the aroma of the broth, I threw in a few kaffir lime leaves. The laksa was so delicious that even my friend’s 2 year old and 4 years old enjoyed it.

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87 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Lynette W Leong via Facebook

    agreed with “laksa means curry laksa, a noodle dish in coconut milk”, and it has to be the ‘nyonya” style of spice and herbs used. The garnishing, however has a variety of difference between Ipoh/ Kangsar, KL, Melaka, state of Johor, and Kuantan.

  2. Your Laksa looks wonderful and I’m going to have to find the tofu puffs, that looks like a great addition. Funny thing is I posted a Laksa recipe to my blog today and though I don’t know what version of Laksa it is, I sort of made it up based on a flavor profile I desired. I hope that you’ll check out my Laksa on Cook Lisa Cook.

    I love your site and recipes.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  3. Lynette W Leong via Facebook

    the secret to the coconut laksa broth is of course the fresh coconut milk (don’t over heat), and the MUST have belachan (a.k.a. dried shrimp block and it must be ‘manufactured in Penang’), and pounded dried shrimp. All herbs are essentials, and they MUST be grown in South East Asia. For e.g : lemon grass fr Africa that I bought while in UK did not have the nice fragrance. My mother had to DHL to me lemon grass that she wok-dried (do ask me how to prepare this for long keeping in fridge).

  4. Aishah Abdullah via Facebook

    A must to have Nyonya Laksa! Thankfully I can get Thai lemon grass & Duan kesom & Penang Belachan in Vancouver, is a must!

  5. Thank you so much for this recipe! I stayed at the Kuantan Hyatt some years ago and their curry laksa soon became my favorite. It had multiple types if noodles, small hard cooked eggs (quail?), and fried tofu. I couldn’t get enough of the fantastic flavors, and have been looking for recipes online for some time. Actually that is how I first encountered this website! Now if I could get that recipe for the seafood hotpot the vendor across the street had. Yum…

  6. I so love the look of this dish, and the sound of the coconut milk and the prawns. But I don’t think I can find the curry paste here in India. Wonder if I can find substitutes here.

  7. Lynette W Leong via Facebook

    @Tony – A-ha, u must be referring to ‘Hoi Yin’ coffee shop, run by a Chinese vendor who sell halal curry laksa on the row of shop at TC!! Yes, love their curry laksa.

  8. O.K. you got me drooling Bee! Agree with you, I prefer assam version too without coconut milk. I like the addition of kaffir leaves to give distinct flavor, must try.

  9. Peter Pantry Raider

    Usually I put lots of oily chilli paste into my laksa. How do you make that chilli paste? Some hawkers make fantastic chilli paste for their laksa.

    As usual your photos make me drool.

  10. Aileen Smith

    Which brand of the instant curry paste did you used in this Laksa dish from the Asiansupermarket 365 pls.?


  11. jo

    Sorry to sound patronising, but do you specialise in teaching people to use pre-made mixes? You’ve got quite a number of posts in which you have no qualms cooking with spice mixes bought from Asian supermarkets. Which is fine, for an amateur cook. But I must admit I am surprised you have a cookbook published.

    • Hi Jo from Singapore,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave me your comment.

      It’s not a culinary sin to use a ready-made spice mix to cook, if you watch cooking shows, many professional chefs and/or authors do so. The question is whether or not you are capable of using a commercial spice mix to make something really good without sacrificing the authenticity of the dish.

      If you are looking for a laksa recipe from scratch, the recipe is on my site and is prominently linked in the post – Penang Curry Mee. If you want a curry recipe from scratch, you can find it too at my other blog Nyonya Food. I was merely trying to make laksa less intimidating to my readers (mostly Americans), and that it’s something they can attempt to make at home, with no fuss, without having to fly all the way to Malaysia or Singapore.

      Yes, I have a cookbook in Chinese recipes and I made everything from scratch. For example: I didn’t use a mapo tofu mix to make mapo tofu, or instant char siu sauce to make char siu. That’s how I earned my credential to be an author.

      Please also take note that my website is about “Easy Asian Recipes.” It’s not all about “Asian Recipes from Scratch.”

      If that’s what you are looking for, I kindly advise you to find another blog to vent.

      PS: I would have replied to you personally if you were to provide a real email address, but obviously, you did not.

      • @jo – don’t see the problem in using pre made spices or paste. no different to buying supermarket packed lemon grass, belechan … Bee’s audience stretches far and wide… it’s all about making the dish accessible to people who may not live near an asian grocery store.

        Bee – great post! I am a massive laksa person! Well, massive and a fan of laksa..haha

    • Jo,Firstly, not everyone lives next door to a Chinatown or even an asian grocer. I had to travel every 3 months to nearest city to buy pre mixes and cans, and packets stuff. I don’t see anything wrong with it. For some of us being so far away from our home country, this may be our only option.
      So get off your high horse and stop critising Bee, for trying to make this type of fooods more accessible to Asians and foreigners alike. Who wouldn’t want fresh stuff? You should be thankful you can have this daily in SG. And be a bit more charitable to those who cannot. Constructive critism is fine, but your tone was of a personal attack of her talent and cookbook. Tsk tsk!

    • Lindsay

      Jo, give me a break. Your comment shows that you are ignorant and jealous.

      I have been following RasaMalaysia’s recipes for years. Majority of the recipes are from scratch. Bee has a lot of different types of recipes that tailored to people with different levels of cooking skills and experience. Also, there is nothing wrong with adding some pre-made paste in your cooking. Many chefs do that too.

    • Ting

      We receive good comments for all these curry paste especially Delimas (Curry Laksa) and Tean’s Gourmet (Curry Laksa and Chicken Curry).

  12. Pre-made instant spices are very versatile. We can add more spices, fresh or dried, to achieve the flavor we are looking for. I prepared rendang out of spice mix once and it was not good. The next time I added some more spices of my own and it was one of the best I ever tasted. As long as we know what’s the main spices component in the mix, we can make killer and authentic dish. You always add your own spices with your instant mix, I like your recipes for it.

    Also, yeah, cookbook for instant pastes, that’s a great idea, Bee!

  13. WAH! Laksa looks so darn good, Bee! PS: I’m always baffled whenever I see bloggers apologise for using ready-made stuff. Why??? If it tastes good, makes your life easy, what’s the problem?

  14. After living for years in Singapore, eating instant everything because traditional cooking is extinct, we’re surprised a Singaporean would complain about instant spice mixes.

    But the question is, what is the alternative to spice mixes? Is it to buy five different ground spices and mix them in a bowl and call yourself a chef? Might as well save yourself some time and buy the pre-mixed package, and as Jun mentioned, add a bit more of your favorite spice if you want to customize it.

    In Penang, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, spice mixes are commonly used in traditional cooking. Head to any morning market, and you will see many spice sellers who will provide you with the perfect concoction for fish curry or chicken curry or any other curry. And what about Chinese five-spice? This is a spice mix that has been around for a very long time. Using a spice mix does not mean you are not a good cook.

    On Season with Spice, we recommend using whole spices and grinding them at home for increased flavor and fragrance, but we would never expect that everyone has the time and energy to do this, including ourselves for most meals.

    Bee – keep up the great job you are doing by making Asian recipes accessible to everyone.

  15. Fuji Mama

    Bee, I am SOOOOO excited that you posted this recipe! Okay anyone reading this comment—I was the lucky recipient of this laksa and it was mind-blowingly good!! I can’t wait to try making it myself! How long do you suggest simmering the stock for?

    • Hey Rachael – so glad that you came to eat my laksa. You can simmer for about 30 minutes or so, until the curry is perfumed with the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves aromas…you will know it when it’s ready. :)

  16. kl_changs

    What a gorgeous, mouth-watering Laksa!

    Bee, I miss our Penang Curry Mee. Especially the ones I used to eat sitting on little stools at a stall run by a couple of sisters @ the Air Itam market. The chilli paste and squid were sooo good. Have you posted a similar dish?

  17. Julia Quay

    My all time comfort food curry laksa. I left East Malaysia 45 yrs ago and whenever I go home for a visit my first meal will always end up being curry laksa. Thanks for your recipe. Will try and make it and will let you know how it turns out.

  18. Nandar

    Thanks so much for this Yummy Laksa Recipe. It seems easy to follow for an amateur cook like me. I am all about easy recipe and would love all semi homemade recipes (using instant paste and mix) :P Could you please mention which paste (the brand) did you use? Did you use Laksa paste or chicken curry paste? There is no Malaysian Grocery around me and I am bout to order the paste from the So please kindly suggest the paste I should get for Laksa and the chicken curry too.

  19. Yvonne

    Hello Rasa Malaysia

    Great job and I really like your website!
    You mentioned using chicken stock in the recipe, is it just any kind of ready made chicken stock from asian grocery?


  20. piabkk

    my boyfriend is in malaysia now, and i love the curry laksa very much
    the problem is i stay in thailand.Have any way he could bring it back for me ?

  21. Sylvia

    I cooked this curry for dinner last night. I used some leftover wonton noodles, and added some wontons. My husband was so impressed that he was reluctant to throw the curry soup away after we have eaten the noodles! Lately he has been very stressed at work and thus grumpy all the time, but last night he was slightly better after dinner! ;)
    Thank you for the recipe!

  22. Joyce

    Hi, I’m a Malaysian student currently studying in the UK. Thank you so much for your recipes. I find the instructions easy to follow and I get a great sense of achievement when I manage to cook something nice for my friends! Thank you so much!

  23. Bigi

    Just made this tonight – it was delicious!!! The entire family enjoyed it and I don’t think I spent more than 30 minutes preparing the laksa. Thank you so much Bee!

  24. kalyani

    Hii there! I love your version of Laksa! sounds yummy to me! But i was wondering if its possible to make the curry paste at home? Coz i live in INDIA and i have never seen any laksa paste at the mall!

    • khalilgib

      20g piece ginger, chopped
      3 fat garlic cloves
      2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
      75g shallots, roughly chopped
      2 teaspoons dried shrimp, rehydrated in boiling water for 5 minutes and drained well
      1.5 teaspoons shrimp paste
      20g cashew nuts
      2 teaspoons fish curry powder (Baba’s, if you can get it)
      20g fresh turmeric
      4 fresh long red finger chillies
      ½ teaspoon salt
      1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    • Pierre


      The spice paste “khalilgib” wrote is the one Rick Stein uses on Masterchef Australia. Its a really good tasting paste and the Laksa made with this paste, tastes better then some of the Laksas I had when I visited Malaysia so I recommend this paste over any storebought ones!

  25. hi bee,
    i just saw ur website n i’m so trilled as a fellow malaysian here. i’m so proud of u who promoting malaysian foods to the world~

    just want to say here that ur version of laksa is really an asam laksa while my family is the other version of laksa (tamarind laksa) because my family from kuala kangsar, perak n my late grandfather used to sell laksa in his hometown.

    for this version of laksa, u use belacan and boiled fish… n the noodle also different.

    btw, love the food pics~ =)

  26. Kathy

    hi bee,
    silly question though, what is the difference between a curry paste and curry powder? in case i won’t be able to find curry paste here in our place, can i use curry powder instead? thank you :) looking forward in making this dish

  27. Anthony Lebatuan

    Thanks so much for the recipe and the beautiful images. My tummy making noise just looking at the pix.

    I had my first Laksa in Singore on June 20th, 2000 and always must have Laksa being back to Sing each time.

    The Singaporean version uses some clams, fish paste loaf (sliced as you can see in your posted picture 1/2) the clam juice in their stock with the rest of your listed recipe. The clams added some seafood character to the dish.

    Love it.

  28. fionna lee

    hi there! i am cooking laksa for my school pratical homework and i found ur recipe which was the easiest! i was wondering this recipe is for how many servings. thanks a mill!:)

  29. Adam Abdul

    For a bit of twist would be tremendously welcome to enhance the really Malaysin palates . That’s nice really. I reckon.

  30. Ailisa Essaid

    Dear Bee…I always look forward to read your blog…Well presented with great pix :-). I’m wondering whether you can help me out. I’ve been searching on the net for the Siamese Laksa, using not fish but chicken flesh instead. There’s a stall in Sec 14, PJ selling this laksa & being a laksa lover, tried asking the uncle for the recipe without any success:-(
    The uncle uses the noodle just like the one in Penang Assam Laksa & the gravy is somewhat like curry mee but the taste is sour. I can see he put in tiny bits of bunga kantan (torch ginger bud), taugeh (bean sprout), kacang panjang (long bean) & oh I forgot to mention, prawns! Don’t you think it’s somewhat like curry mee? Maybe next time I should take a pix of it & post it to you :-)…Thanx for your time & answer Bee

  31. mardy

    People from Darwin, Australia love Laksa aswell, they are sold at the local markets. People have found there favorite Laksa shops and will go out of there way to get it. When traveling down south there is no food to compare!

  32. Sharon

    Hi! I love your recipes and have been learning how to use Thai, Japanese, Korean and other Asian spices and flavors this past year. I have different kinds of red curry paste in jars and would like to use that in this recipe. How much would I use? Would I still cook it in the oil, or omit the oil? Also…could I use any kind of noodle and get a good dish?
    Thank you so much, and thank you for sharing your recipes with us. I have learned so much from you!

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