Soup of the week: Quick and Easy Laksa

Eat Canberra

I love a big bowl of spicy laksa any time of the year but it’s always better during winter because it warms you up when you need it the most! Laksa is one of my favourite Asian soups although it’s a tough competition between the creamy, flavoursome laksa and an aromatic bowl of Vietnamese pho. I love going out for laksa with friends or for a cheap date night but it’s also really easy to make at home. You can whip up this cheat’s version of Laksa pretty quickly and you could even have some leftovers to take for lunch the next day.

Now when I order Laksa from a restaurant I always order it with duck because duck is my treat when I eat out. This recipe is for prawn laksa but you can also use cooked shredded chicken, other seafood, BBQ pork or duck (pick some up from your local Asian store that sells it already cooked). You could even create your own combination laksa by using a bit of each!

Quick and Easy Prawn Laksa

30-45mins (serves 4-6)

What you need:

½-1 cup Laksa paste – I used 185g jar Ayam Malaysian laksa paste and a few spoons from a jar I had left over from the last time I made it. Heat varies between brands so adjust to suit your taste. You can always add some more later.

1 litre chicken stock

500ml coconut milk

20 prawns with tails, peeled (get these from your local seafood shop or buy them already marinated in garlic, add more if you want)

2 cloves finely chopped garlic, optional (I like to add this for extra flavour and freshness)

1 tbsp finely chopped ginger, optional  (I like to add this for extra flavour and freshness)

1-2 tbsp palm sugar (use brown sugar as a substitute but just add a little at a time to get the perfect balance of sweet and spicy)

1 tbsp fish sauce

Puffed tofu (buy this from your local Asian grocery store)

250g Vermicelli noodles

400g Hokkien noodles

3 tsp olive oil

To serve:

Bean sprouts


Long red chilli, thinly slices

Fried shallots (buy this from your local Asian grocery store)

1/2 bunch fresh coriander

1 Lime

What now?

  1. Heat a wok or large soup pot on medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and ginger (if using) and laksa paste. Cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Add the stock and coconut milk, stir and bring to boil. Add the fish sauce and sugar. Add a little more of each to suit your taste preferences if needed. If it’s not spicy enough then add some more laksa paste or some chilli at this stage. Lower the heat and simmer for a further 5-10 minutes. The flavours will develop the longer you cook it for. It’s even better the next day!
  3. Prepare noodles according to the packet. Drain and place in a bowl ready to serve. Meanwhile finely slice shallots and chilli, wash bean sprouts and cut lime in wedges.
  4. Cut tofu puffs in half if they are big and add the tofu and prawns to the soup. Simmer for 2-3 mins or until the prawns are pink and cooked.
  5. Divide the two types of noodles into the bowls, top with soup and divide prawns and tofu puffs between each bowl. Top with bean sprouts, coriander, fried shallots, a squeeze of lime, fresh shallots and chilli (all of this is optional so just add what you want). Serve and enjoy!

What’s your favourite soup?