Nonya Laksa – 娘惹叻沙

Laksa is a classic dish that we absolutely LOVE. However, the complicated processes involved in making the rempah paste often scares off even the most adventurous home cooks.

With some tweaks to the previous recipe, we came up with a simpler yet DELICIOUS version. Few things to take note of. Firstly, blend the spice paste as fine as possible and make sure to stir-fry the spice paste till the colour darkens (really important). Next, only bring the Laksa soup to boil AFTER adding the coconut milk, because coconut milk coagulates after being boiled for too long. We also used fish stock this time round and increased the amount ofhay bee and laksa leaves to make the soup more flavourful and aromatic.

Lastly, even though Katong laksa sold outside doesn’t have Tau pok… We couldn’t resist the urge of devouring pieces of Tau pok soaked in Laksa soup.

Do try out the recipe and let us know what you think!

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  • Servings: 4

  • Time: 1 hr

  • Skill: Easy


  1. Spice Paste

  2. 20 dried chilies (re-hydrated)

  3. 100g hay bee / dried shrimp

  4. 200g shallots

  5. 5 fresh red chillies

  6. 5 cloves garlic

  7. 30g turmeric

  8. 50g blue ginger

  9. 30g ginger

  10. 5 stalks lemongrass (white portion)

  11. 5 candlenuts

  12. 1 tbsp coriander powder

  13. 30g belachan (dried shrimp paste)

  14. 200ml peanut oil

  15. Soup

  16. 1.5 litres fish / prawn stock

  17. 200ml water from rehydrating dried shrimp

  18. 1 litre fresh coconut milk

  19. 2 tbsp salt (adjust to taste)

  20. 2 tbsp sugar

  21. 5 stalks laksa leaves

  22. Toppings

  23. 500g prawns

  24. 500g bean sprouts (ends removed)

  25. 10 tau pok / fried tofu puff

  26. 1 kg fresh thick bee hoon (rice vermicelli)

  27. 200g fish cake (sliced)

  28. 50g chopped laksa leaves


  1. Soak 20 dried chilies with hot water

  2. Soak 100g dried shrimp with 200ml hot water

  3. Add to food processor 200g shallots, 5 fresh red chillies, 5 cloves garlic, 30g turmeric, 50g blue ginger, 30g ginger, 5 stalks lemongrass (white portion), 5 candlenuts and 1 tbsp coriander powder

  4. Strain the rehydrated dried shrimp and keep the water

  5. Add rehydrated dried shrimp

  6. and rehydrated chilies to food processor

  7. Blend into a paste, as fine as possible

  8. Break and toast 30g belachan in a wok

  9. Add spice paste from food processor

  10. Add 200ml peanut oil

  11. Stir-fry for 30 mins until spice paste colour starts to darken

  12. and the fragrance starts to emerge

  13. In another pot, add 200ml water from rehydrating dried shrimp

  14. Add 1.5 litres fish / prawn stock

  15. Bring to boil

  16. Poach 500g prawns in stock

  17. Remove prawns and set aside

  18. Add spice paste into stock and mix well

  19. Bring to boil and add 5 stalks laksa leaves

  20. Let it simmer for 30mins

  21. Add 1 litre fresh coconut milk and bring to boil

  22. Once boiling turn off heat

  23. Season with 1-2 tbsp salt (adjust to taste)

  24. and 2 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste)

  25. Add 10 tau pok / fried tofu puff

  26. Mix well and set aside

  27. Blanch 150g fresh thick bee hoon with handful of bean sprouts (ends removed) and few slices of fish cake for 2mins

  28. Drain and make sure to remove as much water as possible

  29. Add laksa soup with few slices of tau pok

  30. Serve with poached prawns and chopped laksa leaves