{Day 6} Laksa lemak from scratch, with prawns and tofu

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Malaysian in origins, Laksa Lemak is one of my favourite comfort foods and the paste is easy to make at home and mush more fragrant than the store-bought varieties. Laksa can be served with a variety of traditional toppings like eggs, prawns, homemade fish balls, hard-boiled or perfectly soft-boiled eggs, shredded chicken and all sorts of greens. 

For my first complete meal in the Royal Selangor Get Your Jelly On challenge , I present you my favourite dinner, lunch or even breakfast soup: Malaysian laksa lemak. You probably thought, how does one present laksa in a jelly cone – is it jellified? I considered it, but couldn’t quite visualise it… so I used the mould to give my vermicelli a fancy shape.

Rich in colour and fragrance the soup has a great depth of flavours that lingers on after every spoonful and all you want to do is dive in for another sip. I like my laksa spicy, I think it needs to be. And while I like a little extra lime juice in mine and often use wheat angel hair spaghetti instead of rice vermicelli or mee (egg noodles), I stick with the traditional fillings of prawns, tofu, shredded chicken, and sometimes hard or soft-boiled egg. I also like to add some steamed greens to the mix just to pad it out and make it more nutritious.

Since for me laksa lemak is a comfort food, I like to spend a little extra time in the kitchen to craft the paste from scratch, about 10 minutes extra. I find the flavours of this paste quite good and the level of spice which I like to be around 7/10 can be easily adjusted to cater for everyone. And then there is the lemak, or coconut milk, which lends the soup an exotic flavour, tones down the heat a little and makes the broth more voluminous.

My mouth is watering already, luckily I have some leftovers for breakfast!

{Day 6} Laksa lemak from scratch, with prawns and tofu
Recipe type: Laksa, Coconut Curry, Coup, Seafood Soup
Cuisine: Malaysian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
There are a lot if ingredients, but it's more or less one of those throw everything together recipes. I love it because it contains no additives, preservatives or MSG often found in pre-made laksa pastes. Plus both the ingredients and flavours can be adjusted for spiciness and various allergies or dietary requirements. Laksa can be served with a variety of traditional toppings like eggs, prawns, homemade fish balls, hard-boiled or soft-boiled eggs, shredded chicken and all sorts of greens. Feel free to add the noodles straight to the soup and cook for 3-5 minutes if you're not too fussed about the presentation.
For the laksa paste:
  • 8 coriander seeds
  • 3cm long piece of fresh galangal, julienned
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp dried tumeric
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 long red chilli or to taste, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp paste
  • 2 sprigs spring onion, chopped finely
For the laksa:
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 (420ml) can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp brown sugar, optional
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, julienned
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves and sprigs
  • juice of ½ large lime (or of 1 whole small lime)
  • ½ red long chilli, seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil for frying
To make the noodles:
  • 2 cups rice vermicelli noodles, cooked
  • ½ cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • a few slices of a red long chilli, chopped finely
To serve:
  • 10 large cooked and peeled prawns
  • ½ cup bean sprouts
  • 1 small lime, halved
  • (hard boiled egg, tofu puffs, shredded chicken, small fish pieces or tofu)
  1. Place coriander seeds in a medium saucepan (the same as you will use for the curry). Place saucepan over medium heat and toast for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and into a mortar and pestle. Add all remaining paste ingredients and grind into a smooth paste.
  2. Heat oil in the saucepan and add paste, stir for 2 minutes. Add stock, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, sugar and juice of half a lime, inlcuding the skin. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes for the flavours to develop. Add coconut milk to the sauce and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Remove lime and kaffir lime leaves with a slotted spoon and discard. Return laksa to the heat just before serving.
  3. Prepare rice vermicelli according to packet instructions. Once ready, add chopped coriander and chilli to the noodles and mix.
  4. Spray the inside of the moulds with some oil spray. Place moulds into mugs so that they are upright. Fill moulds with noodles then flip the moulds into the base of wide-bottomed bowls and release the noodles. Pour piping hot laksa all around the noodles, add cooked prawns (sliced cooked egg, tofu or tofu puffs) and garnish with some fresh bean sprouts and extra coriander if you wish. Squeeze half a small lime onto the noodles, then mix it all in and enjoy!


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44 Responses to {Day 6} Laksa lemak from scratch, with prawns and tofu

  1. OMG that looks delicious Martyna!! Beautiful colours. I love how you have shaped your noodles, brilliant!

  2. This looks fantastic. I will miss these cones when they’re gone!

  3. I’m usually not one who tends to eat tofu, but this looks so good I might make an exception.

  4. Love the presentation and the creative use of this mould! I’m thinking cone-shaped rice with Hainan chicken might be a good idea too.

  5. Toni says:

    This looks like it’s about to become my favourite breakfast!

  6. Nic says:

    No additives has my vote, plus it looks delicious!

  7. gertrude says:

    There is a lot work making a dish like this but it is all worth it when you slurp it all up. I like the little specks of green and red on the cone vermicelli.

    • You’re completely right Gertrude. When I was brainstorming the dish I thought the noodles would look plain so why not add the herbs to the noodles for an added dazzle 🙂

  8. Nice one Martyna, laksa is our favourite too. Love the presentation of your dish.

  9. Im been trying to dieting myself on the pass few week and really watch up on my calories intake..I was looking for a low fat recipe and BUMMM…you give me an idea with this..this one look yummy and delicious..easy to make..Thank you for sharing.:)

  10. I’m loving how creative you are! Can’t wait to see what else you come up with 🙂

  11. Jun says:

    I love. I love laksa. The vermicelli cone is very pretty. I love how you add some green specs of coriander on it.

  12. That looks delicious and what a great idea to use the mould that way.

  13. Sharni says:

    Oh my! Your creations are incredible, you are a very skilled cook and have amazing imagination. Your creativity amazes me every day as do your phots. Delicious take on the Malaysain classic.

  14. Nice one again. I love nasi lemak and I have tried laksa but I don’t think I have tried laksa lemak, and definitely not the mould version:) Creative use of the mould yet again

  15. This is one stunning dish. I can’t wait to try it out. Definitely my kind of food. Great photos as well. I love tofu – am slightly addicted to the dish Ma Po Tofu at the moment.

  16. Sissi says:

    This dish looks better than most of what I had even in the most expensive restaurants. I would have never thought of shaping noodles (and I think no one has). It’s an excellent idea!
    Why I haven’t seen your recipe before my lunch? I have all the ingredients (of course I don’t have the cone to create this shape).

  17. movita says:

    Oh my. That looks so incredibly tasty. It’s only 11 am in my part of the world, and I’m dying for lunch already! Thanks for the inspiration…

  18. I love the presentation of this one. What a gorgeous laksa.

  19. This dish looks like it belongs at the fanciest five star restaurant. All of your photos are so gorgeous!

  20. mycookinghut says:

    What a lovely dish of laksa!

  21. TC says:

    It looks like a white Christmas tree of yumminess. lol!

  22. rsmacaalay says:

    Wow this is a truly exceptional presentation

  23. Edyta says:

    Can you believe I never tried laksa?? I like your recipe. good pictures too, I can see the cone mould.

  24. Roxana B says:

    Mmmmm. Those prawns looks delicious.

  25. mm looks yummy, great presentation

  26. Sandy says:

    Looks like a little white Christmas tree!

  27. Zoe Roberts says:

    I’m not a far of tofu but if this was put in front of me at the dinner table I would definitely not turn it away

  28. Zoe Roberts says:

    I’m not a fan of tofu but if this was put in front of me at the dinner table I would definitely not turn it away

  29. Amber says:

    Gorgeous way to use the tofu, the the prawns are making my mouth water!

  30. Sarah O. says:

    I’ve never heard of laksa, but I love all things edible and Asian-inspired, I’ll have to give it a try!

  31. Mary says:

    I’ve never had — well, at least intentionally — tofu. Looks yum, prepared this way!

  32. jasmine1485 says:

    The end result looks like a bowl full of art (not to mention flavour!) I’ve never actually tried laksa, but I’m a big fan of prawns 🙂

  33. I have never seen a meal like this! Looks wonderful! All those flavours must result in a very delicious meal.

  34. Ming says:

    My mom would love this, she loves laksa. And the way you made the noodles, artistic!

  35. Sharn says:

    Laksa is one of my favourite comfort foods too. For people with Eastern European ancestry I would’ve thought that was unusual (I’m Ukranian), but there you go! And you’ve got to go the prawns and tofu! 🙂

  36. vivek says:

    Looks great!



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