Laksa: How To Make Southeast Asia’s Curry Laksa

Laksa is a spicy noodle soup that is popular in Southeast Asia’s Peranakan cuisine. Laksa consists of thick wheat noodles or rice vermicelli with chicken, prawns or fish. It is eaten either with rich and spicy curry coconut milk or with sour asam (tamarind or gelugur) in a spicy broth.

Laksa is found in Southern Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore. However, due to its popularity, it can also be found in other regions as well. The dish is commonly thought to have originated from Malaysia specifically.

The type of laksa is dependent on the soup base used in its recipe, either coconut milk which is rich and savory, or fresh and sour asam (tamarind, gelugur or kokum), or the combination of both. There are three basic types of laksa: curry laksa, asam laksa, and a variety that is neither curry or asam laksa.

Laksa: Southeast Asia’s Curry Laksa

  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Snacks
  • Cuisine: Mixed

Curry laksa is a noodle-based coconut milk curry soup, while asam laksa is a noodle-based, tamarind-based soup. Most widely used are thick rice noodles, also known as laksa noodles. Although thin rice vermicelli noodles are also popular. Some recipes say to make your own rice noodles from scratch. 

The whole preparation and cooking time is 30 minutes. This recipe is suitable for four servings. 

Curry laksa’s variation depends on the country of origin. However, this recipe is the most basic recipe for curry laksa. Photo credit: @twhun.david /

Laksa: Southeast Asia’s Curry Laksa Ingredients

  • 3 medium onions, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, slice bottom third into rings
  • 2 inch ginger, peeled and cut into pieces
  • ½ cup curry powder
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 5 chicken thighs
  • 5 pandan leaves, shredded
  • 8 cups water
  • 14 oz bean sprouts, trimmed
  • 2 lbs fresh yellow noodles
  • 9 oz shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 14 small pieces deep-fried tofu 
  • salt to taste
  • ½ cucumber, sliced into pieces
  • 4 sprigs mint leaves
  • 1 lime

Laksa: Southeast Asia’s Curry Laksa Instructions

Step 1: Mix the onions, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger together with 2 tablespoons of water until well combined. Pour the mixture into a cup. To form a thick paste, mix in curry powder.

Step 2: In a large pot, heat vegetable oil. Stir over medium heat, fry spice paste until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken and stir, about 3 minutes, until the chicken turns opaque.

Step 3: Add pandan leaves and the cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 25 minutes.

Step 4: Meanwhile, fill a separate pot half full of water. Then, bring it to a boil. For about 30 seconds, scald bean sprouts. Use a wire strainer drain off the water.

Step 5: Add the noodles and cook as indicated on the packaging. Use a wire strainer to strain. Using tongs to cut the meat. Shred meat and discard bones when it’s cool enough to handle.

Step 6: Lower shrimps with a wire strainer into the curry soup. Let the shrimp cook until they curl and turn pink for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove them and put them aside.

Step 7: Pour coconut milk into soup. Add deep-fried tofu and season with salt. Bring it up to a boil and allow coconut milk to be heated through. Turn off heat.
Step 8: In a bowl, put in a serving of noodles and bean sprouts. Pour curry soup over vegetables and noodles. Finish with diced chicken meat, carrots, cucumber, leaves of basil, and sambal. If needed, squeeze a little lime over noodles.
Step 9: Serve.

Laksa: Southeast Asia’s Curry Laksa Additional Information

  • Per serving. this recipe has 587 calories, 58 g of carbohydrates, 32 g of fat, 16 g of protein. 
  • This recipe takes 30 minutes to fully prepare.
  • This recipe can serve up to four people. 
  • In Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, the name “curry laksa” is more widely used. Laksa is quite common in Singapore, and it is possible to serve curry laksa or nyonya laksa as plain laksa, with noodles and gravy, or with additional ingredients.

Image source:

About Southeast Asia’s Curry Laksa

For most varieties of curry laksa, the main ingredients include bean curd puffs, fish sticks, and shrimp. Some vendors may be offering laksa chicken as an alternative for this dish. Laksa is commonly served with a spoonful of sambal chili paste and garnished with Vietnamese coriander, known in Malay as daun kesum, or laksa plant.


If you want a warm, delicious dish, try this recipe! For more international recipes, click here.

Featured Image: @woon.heng /, @nattulicious /