Malaysian Curry Laksa

by Edward Daniel
Caption of Malaysian Curry Laksa. Image by Edward Daniel (c).

Malaysian Curry Laksa is one of my old-time classic recipes. This dish uses an umami stock of shiitake mushrooms and kelp. What adds to this dish is the sweet coconut tempers the spicier chillies.  With the individual choosing how much chili oil to add on top.  I also love how the garnishing adds freshness to this dish, giving it a more wholesome all-round experience.

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Caption of Malaysian Curry Laksa. Image by Edward Daniel (c).
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • Malaysian Spice Paste (rempah)
  • 200g shallots
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 small red chillies, birds eye, deseeded
  • 1 1-inch fresh turmeric, peeled
  • 1 2-inch fresh galangal, peeled
  • 2 lemon grass sticks, trimmed (use white parts only)
  • 10 candlenuts (or alternatively, use 50g cashews)
  • 2tbs peanut oil (or olive oil, if unavailable)
  • For the stock
  • 15g dried shiitake mushrooms (or 80g fresh shiitake mushrooms)
  • 10g kombu dried (also known as kelp)
  • 1.5 litre filtered water
  • For chili garnishing
  • 3 red eye chillies
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2tbs peanut oil
  • For Laksa Curry
  • 2tsb peanut oil (or olive oil, if unavailable)
  • 2tbs raw unrefined palm sugar
  • 1 lemongrass, smashed
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 200g creamed coconut
  • 100g tofu, firm sliced (optional)
  • 150g tofu puffs (deep fried tofu), sliced
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • Season to taste
  • 125g rice vermicelli
  • For garnishing
  • Few sprigs of mint leaves
  • Few sprigs of coriander leaves
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 1 pepper, sliced (optional)


  1. Make the Malaysian Spice Paste by combining the paste ingredients in a high-speed blender. Depending on requirements.  Use a third of the proportions. Store the rest in a sterilised jar and keep frigerated for up to a month, until needed.
  2. In a large non-stick pan, make the stock by simmering under a low heat the shiitake mushrooms and kombu in water for about an hour.  Sieve and discard the kombu and keep the shiitake for later. Retain the stock and set to one side.
  3. Make the curry paste by placing the chillies and garlic in a high-speed blender. Blend until fine. Transfer to a small skillet. Add the oil and sauté the chillies until the chillies start to float. This will be about 3 to 4 minutes. Set to one side.
  4. Make the rice vermicelli in a separate pan by placing in boiling water for about 3 to 4 minutes. Set to one side.
  5. In a wok place the curry place with oil and with a little stock to form a marsala base.  Gently cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remainder of the stock, sugar, smashed lemon grass and the coconut milk and creamed coconut.  Cook for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add in the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the tofu. Switch off the heat. Season to taste.
  8. Serve the laksa over piping hot noodles Garnish with beansprouts, mint and coriander leaves, and pepper. Drizzle with chili oil, as required.


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