This Thai-inspired seafood laksa is a great way to get a fabulous spicy noodle dish on the table quickly, using only one pan and ready in less than 30 minutes. If you like spicy Thai food like I do, then you will LOVE this!
This Seafood Laksa is heaven in a bowl.
A slurpy, splash-orange-coloured-sauce-down-your-white-top-in-enthusiastic-eagerness kind of soup, that makes you look at your husband’s bowl to see if he has any left that you could steal.
That's how good this soup is. It’s also on the table in less than half an hour.
I first had laksa soup in a Thai restaurant many years ago, and I adored all the flavours and textures. I may have mentioned before that Thai is my favourite kind of food, and seafood laksa is such a great way to get a fabulous meal on the table quickly, using only one pan.
📋 What do we need?
For the Laksa paste
For the Curry and Garnish
📺 Watch how to make it
Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
I make my own laksa paste for this recipe. Most store-bought versions are a good alternative, but it's pretty quick to make your own paste. Plus you can control the heat level.
I like to cook my paste ingredients before blending them. I find that cooking the paste ingredients first, gives the whole dish a deeper level of flavour.
👩🍳PRO TIP You can use ready-cooked vermicelli noodles if you like. Run them under some boiling water in a colander/sieve to heat through before placing in the bowl.
From my research, it seems that most laksa curry/soup recipes, whether from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand or Indonesia, have the same basis of noodles, with seafood or chicken in a spicy coconut sauce. There's also a variation called Asam Laksa, that doesn't use coconut milk, but it uses fish paste and tamarind for a more sour, rather than creamy taste.
Believed to have originated as a combination of Chinese noodle soup (brought over by early Chinese migrants settling in Malacca, Malaysia) and local spices and coconut milk, it falls firmly under the label of Peranakan cuisine.
My version came about when I was pondering what to do with leftover haddock (I’d defrosted too much after making fish burgers and matchstick fries the previous night) and some prawns that I’d forgotten to put back in the freezer.
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Laksa Paste (note 1):
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 onion - peeled and chopped
- 4 red chillies - roughly chopped - I use fresno chillies. Use Thai chillies if you like it really hot
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 tsp lemongrass paste
- 1 heaped tbsp fresh coriander stalks - you can use the leaves for garnish later
- 1.5 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) chicken or seafood stock
- 2 cod or haddock fillets - (weighing approx 140g/5oz each) or any firm-fleshed white fish, skin removed
- 200 g (7 oz) dried rice/vermicelli noodles - or 300g-400g of ready-cooked vermicelli noodles
- 12-16 king prawns - peeled and deveined
- 200 g (7 oz) beansprouts - mung bean sprouts
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp caster sugar - (superfine sugar)
- 1 red chilli - chopped finely
- 1 finger sized piece of cucumber - chopped finely
- ¼ a small red onion - peeled and chopped finely
- small handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the chopped onions. Cook on medium for about 5 minutes until the onions soften and start to turn translucent.3 tbsp oil, 1 onion
- Add in the rest of the Laksa paste ingredients, stir and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.4 red chillies, 2 tsp ginger paste, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp lemongrass paste, 1 heaped tbsp fresh coriander stalks, 1.5 tsp turmeric, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp paprika, 1 tsp tamarind paste
- While the laksa paste ingredients are frying, make the garnish. To a small bowl, add the vinegar, sugar, chilli, cucumber, red onion, and coriander. Stir together, then put to one side.1 tsp rice wine vinegar, 1 tsp caster sugar, 1 red chilli, 1 finger sized piece of cucumber, ¼ a small red onion, small handful of chopped coriander (cilantro)
- Turn off the heat from the frying pan and transfer the onions-chilli-spice mixture to a mini chopper or food processor. Blend together until it forms a paste (alternatively you can use a stick blender to blend the ingredients into a paste directly in the pan, but be careful of splashes)
- Add the laksa paste back into the frying pan.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and stock. Stir together and heat through until just simmering.200 ml (7 fl oz) full-fat coconut milk, 1 tsp fish sauce, 200 ml (7 fl oz) chicken or seafood stock
- Add the fish, stir, and allow to cook for 4 minutes, turning a couple of times, until the fish is starting to fall apart.2 cod or haddock fillets
- While the fish is cooking, soak the noodles in boiling water until soft (this usually takes about 3 minutes) then drain.200 g (7 oz) dried rice/vermicelli noodles
- Coming back to the laksa, add in the prawns, stir, and cook for one minute. The prawns should be starting to turn pink, and your fish should be cooked.12-16 king prawns
- Finally add in the beansprouts and cook for another minute, so they're warmed through, but still slightly crisp. Turn off the heat.200 g (7 oz) beansprouts
- Divide the drained noodles between bowls and spoon the laksa sauce and seafood over the top.
- Top each bowl with a spoonful of the garnish you made earlier, and serve.
This recipe was first published in 2014. Updated in March 2018 and then again in March 2023 with new photos and video plus some housekeeping.
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