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Laksa Lemak Recipe

Laksa Lemak Recipe

Laksa is a one-dish meal of rice noodles and seafood in a spicy soup. The Singapore version is rich with coconut milk, while Penang style Laksa omits the coconut milk and is piquant in flavor. The former is also known as Laksa Lemak.

Ingredients : Serves 6-8

500 g (1 lb)

500 g (1 lb)

185 g (6 oz)

1 tablespoon

10 cups

375 g (12 oz)

250 g (8 oz)






For the soup -


2 teaspoons


2 teaspoons


2 stems

4 tablespoons

1 teaspoon

1 tablespoons

6 cups

Raw shrimps

Prepared fish cakes

Crabmeat, optional



Rice vermicelli

Fresh bean sprouts


Salt to taste

Small bunch laksa leaves (Vietnamese mint)

Sambal ulek or sambal bajak

Fresh limes, optional


Large dried red chilies

Dried shrimp paste (belacan)

Medium onions

Laos powder


Lemon Grass

Peanut oil

Ground turmeric

Ground coriander

Coconut Milk

Method :
  • Wash the shrimps well, remove shells, heads and reserve for making stock.

  • De-vein the shrimps, slice the fish cakes and pick over the crabmeat for any bony bits.

  • Keep the seafood refrigerated until required.

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan, add the well-drained shrimp shells and heads and fry, stirring, until they turn red.

  • Add the water and 2 teaspoons salt and simmer, covered, for about 1 hour or until reduced by a third. Strain stock, discard shells and heads.

  • Pour very hot water over the rice vermicelli in a bowl and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain.

  • Pinch any straggly tails off the bean sprouts, wash well and drain in a colander.

  • Peel and seed the cucumber and cut into matchsticks strips.

  • Shred the laksa leaf finely.

To make the soup -

  • Break off stems of dry chilies and shake out the seeds. Soak the chilies and belacan in hot water for at least 10 minutes.

  • Put the chilies, shrimps, onions, laos powder, candlenuts and finely sliced lemon grass (use only the white part) into the container of an electric blender.

  • Add a little of the soaking water to facilitate blending, and grind to a puree.

  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the ground mixture, stirring to prevent burning, until it is brown and smells fragrant.

  • Add the turmeric and coriander and stir fry for a minute longer.

  • Add the strained stock and simmer for about half and hour.

  • Before serving, add the coconut milk, taste and correct seasoning.

  • Add the sliced fish cakes and crabmeat and bring to simmering point.

  • Drain the rice vermicelli and add to the soup.

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil and stir fry the shrimps for just a couple of minutes, adding a little salt to taste.

  • Serve the laksa lemak in a large bowls, topping each bowl with bean sprouts, cucumber strips, a few shrimps and shreds of laksa leaf.

  • Serve chili sambal separately for intrepid chili eaters and halved limes or lemon for those who prefer a more piquant flavor.

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