Recipe courtesy of Ching-He Huang

Classic Shrimp Laksa with Rice Noodles

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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1/2 cup Laksa Curry Paste, recipe follows, or store-bought yellow curry paste or Tom Yum paste

3 cups low-sodium chicken stock

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

Juice of 1 lime

One 14-ounce can coconut milk

7 ounces dried flat wide rice noodles

1 pound medium shrimp, deveined, tails left on

1 1/2 cups bean sprouts

Sea salt

Cayenne pepper or red chili flakes

Small handful fresh cilantro stems

Small handful fresh Thai basil stems

Laksa Curry Paste:

1/4 cup coconut milk

3 tablespoons shrimp paste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon chopped fresh peeled turmeric root or dried powdered turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 stalks lemongrass, smashed and roughly chopped 

One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red Fresno chile, stemmed and sliced crosswise


  1. Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add the Laksa Curry Paste and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, lime juice and coconut milk and stir well. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles until al dente, about 3 minutes, and then drain and rinse under cold water to refresh. Add 3/4 cup of the bean sprouts to the shrimp mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and cayenne pepper. To serve, divide the noodles between 2 large, shallow bowls and ladle the shrimp and broth over each. Garnish with clusters of cilantro and basil, sprinkle the remaining sprouts over the top and serve immediately.

Laksa Curry Paste:

  1. Combine the coconut milk, shrimp paste, oil, brown sugar, coriander, cumin, salt, turmeric, chili powder, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, onions and chiles in a food processor or blender and whiz into a smooth paste. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Yield: about 2 cups.