Homemade laksa recipe

My Mum’s Laksa Recipe

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x


My mum’s homemade Laksa recipe, also known as laksa lemak of Laksa Johor, with homemade paste from scratch plus a Cheat’s Laksa Recipe!



  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
  • 400ml (1 3/5 cup) coconut milk
  • 200ml (4/5 cup) water
  • 200g (3.5 oz) chicken, cut to bite size pieces
  • 200g (3.5 oz) prawns (shrimps)
  • 600g 1 1/3 lb) fresh rice noodles (if dried, enough for 4 people)
  • 4 handfuls beansprouts
  • Herbs – Vietnamese coriander, lime leaves or fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 Tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in very hot water for 10 minutes

Spice Paste

  • I large onion
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced thinly
  • 510 dried red chillies, soaked in very hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2.5cm (1″) galangal or 1 tsp shop bought paste
  • 6 candlenuts (or macadamia nuts)
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste, toasted
  • 2 tsp ground coriander


  • lime wedges
  • fried tofu – just cubes of fresh tofu fried in a little oil for 5 minutes until golden
  • slices of fishcake
  • 4 boiled eggs, halved
  • julienned cucumber
  • strips of Vietnamese Coriander or real fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • sambal or chilli paste


  1. Drain the dried shrimp and either pound in a pestle and mortar or chop in a chopper. In the latter, you’ll end up with a floss like result, which is perfect. If you’re pounding, try and break the shrimps down as much as you can.
  2. To toast the shrimp paste, watch the video.
  3. Place all the paste ingredients, starting with the onion and lemongrass in the same unrinsed chopper and chop to get a fairly smooth paste.
  4. Add each ingredient in the order that it’s listed above. This allows the more fibrous lemongrass and dried chilli to get a longer chopping time.
  5. I don’t add any water as the moisture from the onion is usually enough but if you find yourself stuck, literally, add a tablespoon or two. When all’s done, set it aside.
  6. Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan or deep wok over medium high heat and sauté the paste ingredients for about 2 minutes until you get a wonderful cooked aroma from the paste.
  7. Lower the heat down and add the pounded shrimp, stirring well for 30 seconds.
  8. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly.
  9. Pour in the coconut milk and water and bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remember, don’t cook on high heat when using coconut milk.
  10. Add the prawns, lime leaves and Vietnamese coriander or lime leaves, half a tsp of salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Check seasoning, then turn the heat off.
  11. We are now going to blanch the noodles and beansprouts separately, then dish up. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Add 1 tablespoon of salt.
  12. If using dried noodles, follow packet instructions to soften, which usually involves soaking them for 15 minutes or so first.
  13. Have a large Chinese strainer/skimmer at hand or something similar. Place the noodles in the simmering water and cook for just 1 minute and remove. If you don’t have a strainer, just use a sieve and strain the water into another saucepan, as we will be using the same water for the beansprouts. Set the noodles aside.
  14. Do the same with the beansprouts. You could leave them raw/fresh but just make sure they’re not too cold.

To Serve – Here’s how we eat Laksa!

  1. Place some noodles in a bowl.
  2. Top with a handful of beansprouts.
  3. Ladle some laksa gravy over.
  4. Top with condiments/garnish of your choice – eggs, fishcakes, herbs, cucumber, etc.
  5. Squeeze some lime juice all over.
  6. Top with sambal/chilli paste.
  7. Then feast your soul!

  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Singaporean and Malaysian


  • Serving Size: 4