Laksa noodle soup with its signature rich curry base that is flavorful and fragrant! Topped with tofu puffs, fish cakes, egg and beansprouts. An easy Laksa recipe using homemade Laksa paste!
This Southeast Asian cuisine is making a splash in the Philippine food scene for quite some time now. And why wouldn’t it? Laksa is totally delicious! With its complex-tasting broth to its array of toppings, it’s a sure hit among Filipinos that love noodle soups.
This homemade recipe will give you restaurant quality Laksa that you can enjoy at home. On top of that, I’ll also share how you can make your own Laksa paste/rempah paste. So forget about store bought paste that you have to ramped up just to taste right.
What is Laksa?
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup from Southeast Asia especially in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. One thing to remember about Laksa is that there are two kinds of soup bases. The more popular in my opinion is the curry Laksa which I usually make and the other one is the tamarind-based soup. Both incorporate noodles like vermicelli, rice noodles and others, udon. Of course a flavorful noodle soup is not complete without toppings so tofu puff, fish cakes etc. comes into play.
Homemade Paste Ingredients
Making the paste will require you to make a quick trip to an Asian store which will be worth it. Laksa paste is made from blended dried shrimp, galangal, shallots, Thai shrimp paste, candlenuts, dried chilis, turmeric and other spices then sautéed in oil for depth of flavor.
If you’re too busy to go to an Asian store or don’t have any near you, you can use this substitute ingredients to make Laksa paste.
|Candlenuts||unsalted cashew nuts|
unsalted peanuts (check for allergies)
|Dried shrimps||use fresh unshelled shrimps but|
cut into small pieces and add when sautéing
|Dried chilis||chili flakes|
Tips for best results
If you can’t get any tofu puffs, you can use regular firm tofu that you will need to cut into squares and fry in oil until golden. Slice the square tofu in half to expose the inside and make it absorb the laksa soup more easily.
You can substitute fish cakes with fish balls or kikiam.
I used semi-cooked flat vermicelli for this recipe but you can also use glass noodles, vermicelli, spaghetti and cook them as per packaging.
You can make the laksa soup a day ahead and cook the noodles the following day to save you some time. You can refrigerate the soup in an airtight container and re-heat in a pot when it’s time to serve.
The secret ingredient is always LOVE
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Laksa noodle soup
- 250 grams shell and shrimp heads
- 2 liters water
- 100 grams dried shrimps
- 1 ½ tbsp chili flakes dried bird's eye chilis
- ½ cup unsalted roasted peanuts candlenuts
- 6 pieces small shallots sliced
- 6 cloves garlic sliced
- 15 grams galangal sliced
- 15 grams fresh turmeric sliced
- 2 stalks lemon grass sliced
- 2 pcs fresh red chilis
- 2 tbsp Thai shrimp paste
Laksa noodle soup
- 500 grams flat vermicelli or vermicelli
- 1 liter hot water for soak-cooking vermicelli
- ½ cup cooking oil
- 500 ml coconut milk
- 1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 100 grams tofu puffs cut in half
- 200 grams fish cakes sliced
- 4 pieces hard boiled eggs
- 1 cup bean sprouts
Preparing the noodles and eggs
- In a bowl, soak semi-cooked flat vermicelli in 1 liter of hot water for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain water and set aside. Hard boil 4 eggs and set aside.
Making the shrimp broth
- Heat 2 liters of water in a pot and tip in shrimp shells and heads. Bring to a boil and mash the shells and heads then transfer stock in a container. Set aside. (Discard shells and shrimp heads)
Making the Paste
- Blend dried shrimps, peanuts, and chili flakes in a blender or food processor until nuts release a bit of oil and turn into really fine bits. Transfer in a bowl. Set aside.
- Blend together shallots, garlic, galangal, turmeric, lemon grass, thai shrimp paste, fresh red chilis until fine. Add grinded peanut and shrimp mix and blend until paste-like. Set aside.
Making the Laksa noodle soup
- Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add laksa paste and sauté for 3 – 6 minutes or until dark in color. Add coconut milk and shrimp broth then stir to incorporate. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add tofu puffs and fish cakes and simmer for 3 minutes. Tip in fish sauce and sugar then stir. Taste and adjust accordingly. Lower heat.
- Place a preferred amount of noodles in a serving bowl and add laksa soup. Top it off with tofu puffs, fish cakes, halved boiled eggs and fresh beansprouts. Serve while hot. Bon appetit!