Forget everything you know about coconut-based laksa, this light, sour, and savoury seafood broth is garnished with sweet pineapple and lots of fresh herbs. 






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (2 votes)


  • 50 g (½ cup) ikan billis (dried anchovies)
  • 500 g fish fillet (try snapper, brim or yellow trevally)
  • 4 lemongrass stalks, halved and bruised
  • 2 bunches Vietnamese mint (laksa leaf), picked
  • 5 - 6 dried tamarind pieces
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) tamarind paste
  • 2 heads torch ginger, halved lengthways, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 800 g fresh tapioca noodles (found in the refrigerated section of Asian grocer)


  • 10 dried red chillies
  • 5 fresh long red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup roughly chopped red Asian shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5 g piece peeled turmeric, roughly chopped
  • 10 g piece peeled galangal, roughly chopped
  • 10 g toasted belacan (shrimp paste)


  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups mint leaves 
  • 2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 1½ cups pineapple batons
  • 1 short cucumber, seeds removed, cut into matchsticks
  • 3 limes, thinly sliced
  • 1½ tbsp har go (shrimp molasses)

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. Place 2 litres of water in a large saucepan, add the ikan billis and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the fish fillets and cook for about 1 minute. Remove the fillets, flake the flesh, cover and set aside.
  1. Meanwhile, for the rempah, soak the red chillies in hot water for at least 15 minutes. Remove the stalks and seeds and add to a blender with all the remaining ingredients. Blend to a paste, using a little water to help the mixture catch the blades if necessary. 
  1. Stir the rempah into the stock, then bring to the boil. Add the lemongrass, Vietnamese mint, tamarind pieces and paste, torch ginger, sugar and salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Stir in the flaked fish and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  1. Place 1 litre of water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the noodles and gently agitate to separate the strands. Simmer just until the noodles are heated through. Drain in a colander, then divide the noodles between 5 - 6 bowls. Ladle in enough soup to cover the noodles, then divide the garnishes evenly over the top. To finish, mix 1 teaspoon of the shrimp molasses into each serve. Serve immediately.


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