Laksa curry is one of Malaysia's most popular dishes. Be sure to strain the soup before serving, for a silky smooth dish that's full of flavour.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (8 votes)


  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 onion, finely minced
  • 10 shallots
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • ¼ cup lemongrass powder, plus 1 tbsp extra
  • 2 long chillies
  • ½ cup curry powder
  • 2 tsp chilli paste
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 cups (1 litre) coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp salt    
  • 1 tbsp sugar


To serve

  • boiled egg
  • cooked chicken maryland, meat picked
  • fried tofu
  • shallow-fried eggplant
  • cooked wontons
  • cooked prawns
  • cooked barbecued pork
  • rice noodles
  • egg noodles
  • bean shoots

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Cook garlic for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  
  2. Use a sharp knife to mince together shallots, turmeric, lemongrass and chilli. Add to pan and stir to combine.
  3. Add curry powder and chilli paste. Cook for 3–5 minutes, or until oil separates.
  4. Heat chicken stock in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add curry paste and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in ground coriander, ground cumin and extra lemongrass powder.
  6. Add coconut milk and stir to combine. Season with salt and sugar.
  7. Strain laksa and discard solids.
  8. Layer your choice of accompaniments into a bowl. Top with laksa.
  9. Skim a little of the chilli oil from saucepan and drizzle over surface. Serve.


This recipe is from Lee Chan's World Food Tour on SBS Food (Channel 33). Stream episodes via SBS On Demand.