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.
🍲 More Thai-inspired recipes
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Got a Thai food craving? Why not try this super delicious Thai Seafood Laksa. A great way to get a fabulous Thai meal on the table quickly, using only one pan and ready in less than 30 minutes. If you like Thai food like I do then you will LOVE this!
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 of 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 of 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 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 (7oz) dried rice/vermicelli noodles
Coming back to the laksa, add in the prawns, stir, and cook for an 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 (7oz) 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.
If you don’t want to make your own laksa paste, you can use store bought. They vary in strength, so read the side of the bottle to work out how much you need for four portions.
How do I make Chicken Laksa instead?
Yes, you can simply replace the haddock and prawns with cooked shredded chicken. Alternatively, you can add pieces of raw chicken in with the blended paste and cook until the chicken is sealed. Add the coconut milk and stock and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, then continue on with the rest of the recipe steps.
Can I freeze Laksa?
The noodles, seafood and beansprouts won’t freeze very well. If you want to get ahead, I’d suggest making the paste, and freezing it in portions. Then you can defrost and continue with the recipe from step 4 (make the garnish on the day of serving too).
Can I make low-fat Laksa?
You could use low fat coconut milk, although being lower fat, it has more of a tendency to split. To counter this, I’d suggest leaving out the coconut milk until the end of cooking, then add the low-fat coconut milk to the laksa and heat through until hot. Don’t let it boil or it will split.
Can I make ahead for lunch the next day?
If you want to prepare this for lunch to take to work the next day, then make the soup up to the point just before you add the beansprouts, cool and refrigerate. Then just reheat the sauce for a couple of minutes in a pan or the microwave, throw in the beansprouts for a final minute and pour over your pre-cooked noodles.
Nutritional information approximate, per serving (this recipe serve 4).
Calories: 517kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 21gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 757mgPotassium: 699mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 970IUVitamin C: 92.9mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 4.4mg
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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