Malaysian Laksa Lemak

Malaysian Laksa Lemak

Coconut milk adds sweetness to the famous Malaysian Laksa soup and balances its sour-salty-hot flavor. In this adapted recipe shrimp paste and fish sauce are substituted with the more accessible anchovy paste and tamari or soy sauce. For a fish-free version of this delicious fragrant soup, skip the anchovy paste, substitute shrimp with chicken or tofu.
Hands-on Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Malaysian
Servings 3


  • 1 lb fresh shrimp
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 oz rice noodles
  • 1 cup shallots sliced
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1-2 lime or lemon for juice
  • tamari or soy sauce
  • oil
  • salt & pepper

Laksa Culinary Spice Kit

  • Lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, makrut lime, lime peel, chili


  • anchovy paste or fish sauce
  • fresh cilantro or mint leaves
  • fresh chilies sliced


Spice Paste

  • In a BLENDER or small FOOD PROCESSOR, add ginger, garlic, shallots, nuts, Laksa spices, 2 tbsp tamari, and 1 tsp oil.
  • Blend until it becomes a smooth paste.
  • Add a bit of coconut milk if necessary.


  • Prepare noodles according to package instructions.
  • In a POT, heat 2 tbsp oil. Fry the spice paste for 2 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
  • Add broth, coconut milk, bean sprouts, and shrimp.
  • Bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes.
  • Add chilies to taste (opt.) and 1/4 cup lime juice or more to taste.
  • Adjust saltiness to taste with tamari or soy sauce, and/or anchovy paste or fish sauce.


  • To serve, fill noodles in individual bowls and add the soup.
  • Optionally, garnish with chopped cilantro or mint leaves.
  • Enjoy!


  • Substitute shrimp with small cubes of chicken, white fish, or tofu, or mix them.
  • Substitute bean sprouts with bamboo shoots or finely sliced cabbage.
  • Substitute macadamia nuts with peanuts or almonds.
  • Substitute noodles with cooked rice.