Are you ready for a totally slurp-worthy bowl? Laksa is a famous noodle soup hailing from Southeast Asia, and it has become one of my favorite dishes.
It’s cozy and spicy, with a coconut milk base and plenty of interesting add-ins. And it’s surprisingly easy to make restaurant quality laksa in your own home.
All you need is a few special ingredients…
Soup season is in full swing here at GypsyPlate. From creamy cozy recipes like Zuppa Toscana and Avgolemono Soup, to exotic flavors like Sancocho and Korean Pork Soup, we have plenty of pots simmering this time of year.
Laksa is the latest addition, and let me tell you, this one is special. It’s one of those recipes that has been near the top of our list to post for a long time.
We wanted to get it just right, and it was well worth the wait!
What is Laksa?
Laksa is an iconic noodle dish common in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It’s origins are blurry, with some stories dating back several hundred years.
Wherever and whenever it first came into being, Laksa has become one of the most famous dishes in Southeast Asia, and it’s fame is spreading. It frequently finds its way onto “best foods in the world” lists.
There are certainly many variations, with each region and each family having their own recipes.
Typically, though not always, coconut milk is used as the base. Some have a milder flavor, and some are bold and curry-like. Some even have an additional sour component added.
The proteins and garnishings also vary from type to type.
The Laksa we are cooking today is most similar to Nyonya Laksa, with the addition of shredded chicken and a garnishing of cilantro, which is typical in Sarawak Laksa.
- Noodles – Rice vermicelli and hokkien egg noodles.
- Protein – Chicken and shrimp.
- Coconut milk – Full fat.
- Laksa paste – More on this in the next section.
- Chicken stock – For flavor and volume.
- Aromatics – Garlic, ginger, lemongrass.
- Other seasonings – Fish sauce, sugar and red chilis.
- Tofu puffs – These act as sponges for the tasty broth. You can find them in Asian grocery stores.
- Eggs – Hard boiled.
- Garnishings – Cilantro, bean sprouts, more red chilis, lime wedges.
What is Laksa Paste?
Laksa paste is a product that adds much of the flavoring to Laksa, equivalent to Thai curry pastes.
Though it can be made from scratch, it has a number of ingredients that are not typically on hand. Therefore we recommend buying it at your local Asian grocery store, or online.
Allergen warning: Many brands of laksa paste contain peanuts or other nuts.
How to Make Laksa
Heat oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, ginger, red chili and lemongrass. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Add laksa paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce and sugar. Add in chicken, simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and shred it, before adding back into the pot.
Add shrimp and tofu puffs. Cook till shrimp are cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
Cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain and divide them among four bowls.
Ladle in laksa soup and add eggs. Garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro and sliced red chilis. Squeeze on lime juice. Serve immediately.
As mentioned, there are many different types of laksa. Here are a few variations you can try:
- Try different meats, or omit them altogether for a vegetarian version.
- A popular variation is curry laksa. Add a tablespoon of curry powder for different flavors.
- Asam laksa has a sour flavor and omits coconut milk. Replace it with 2-4 tablespoons of tamarind paste.
- Use other garnishings. Cucumber and long beans are also common.
Leftovers and Storage
Laksa is great as leftovers, as the flavors build over time. Store it in an air tight container up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Reheat in a pan on stovetop over medium heat.
Give this iconic spicy noodle soup a try in your kitchen. Share it with your friends and family, and help its fame grow. Once you take a slurp, you’ll see why Laksa is considered one of the tastiest foods in the world!
Be sure to check our other cracking Asian Recipes on GypsyPlate, and come back again for all the new flavors coming to you. Pin or bookmark this great recipe so you always know where to find it. Subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you!
Laksa, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped
- 2 birds eye chilis, diced
- 1 lemon grass, bruised and chopped
- 1/2 cup laksa paste
- 1 13.5oz can coconut milk
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
- 12oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 10 tofu puffs, halved
- 2oz rice vermicelli noodles
- 2oz hokkien egg noodles
- 4 hard boiled eggs, halved
- sliced red chilis
- bean sprouts
Making the laksa soup
- Heat oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, ginger, red chili and lemongrass. Sauté 2-3 minutes.
- Add laksa paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce and sugar. Add in chicken, simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and shred it, before adding back into the pot.
- Add shrimp and tofu puffs. Cook till shrimp are cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
Assembling laksa bowls
- Cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain.
- Divide noodles among four bowls.
- Ladle in laksa soup. and add eggs.
- Garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro and sliced red chilis. Squeeze on lime juice.
- Serve immediately.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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