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Recipe for Singapore Laksa Paste

Curry in a hurry…..

One of my favourite dishes has to be laksa, I’ve eaten versions of it in its spiritual homes of Malaysia and Singapore, often quite different, always quite wonderful.

A laksa is essentially a one dish meal of noodles and seafood, variations on a theme abound as fusion cookery took its course but essentially it should be fish and noodles in a cross between a soup and a curry.

Different regions cook different versions, in Singapore you are likely to find a laksa made with coconut milk; rich, creamy and satisfying whilst Malaysian’s leave out the coconut and cook something more akin to a red/brown curry. Laksa Lemak is a classic laksa, full of strong flavours such as red chilli, dried shrimp, lemongrass and laos powder. It also features one of my favourite Asian herbs Vietnamese Coriander which is an essential flavouring, use fresh coriander if you can’t get hold of any.

The paste used in a laksa is the building block upon which the rest of the dish is assembled, unlike other curry pastes it is not as time consuming but a little attention whilst making it will pay dividends later.

Here’s a recipe for Singapore laksa paste, you can use it in other ways if you wish. It can be used as the base for a curry recipe or make a note of it until I post a recipe for Singapore laksa in a day or two, I’ll give you the recipe for the paste now as it can be made in advance and will give you time to get hold of the ingredients plus it prevents this post from being longer and more boring than you might already be finding it…

Singapore Laksa/Laksa Lemak Spice Paste

2 chopped small onions
4 cloves of crushed garlic
1 tbsp crushed blanched candle nuts (or blanched plain peanuts)
2 tbsp soaked dried shrimp
2 bulbs of fresh lemongrass finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh galangal or fresh ginger
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander

Put the lot into a food blender and blitz until smooth, you may need to add a little vegetable oil to help it all come together. Scrape the sides of the bowl down and blend again. Put in a bowl and refrigerate until required.

laksa paste


  1. Rod says:

    thanks for this, I love these simple and easy to cook recipes you do on this blog that can be done with realistic ingredients and within a reasonable time frame - many thanks

    July 23, 2008 @ 7:04 am

  2. miles says:

    The shrimp paste is required if you want an authentic reproduction but if you don’t think you would use it much thereafter then it can be omitted as it can be for a vegetarian curry.


    July 23, 2008 @ 7:07 am

  3. Lucy says:

    this is awesome, i’ve been searching the net for a quick laksa paste, just going to take out the shirmp and perfect
    thanks heapsss :)

    March 2, 2009 @ 6:29 am

  4. miles says:

    Welcome to the site and thank you for taking the time to comment.
    I’m glad you have found this of use, make it a couple of times and adjust it to your particular preference.
    Hope you enjoy it.
    kind regards

    March 2, 2009 @ 7:19 am

  5. Venassa says:

    Sounds good… have been searching for a bit…Am going to try this out tonight… i don’t have fresh tumeric…. will see how this turns out…

    May 7, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

  6. Hendry says:

    do today and come out great. have half balance to put in fridge. next time i would have blend more to keep. thx miles

    January 15, 2010 @ 4:41 am

  7. miles says:

    Welcome to the site and thank you for your comment. Glad you like it and hope you return again soon,
    kind regards

    January 15, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

  8. Paul says:

    Hey nice little paste recipe here! Keep up the good work, I love a good laksa, I’ll be sure to follow what you’re up to.


    February 8, 2010 @ 5:48 am

  9. miles says:

    Welcome to the site, I can see from your site that you’re fond of one!!

    Kind regards

    February 8, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

  10. Jess says:

    Love the recipe, been searching for one for a long time. Just wondering why you don’t put chillies in it. Haven’t seen one without them in sometime.
    Kind regards,

    February 9, 2010 @ 7:35 am

  11. miles says:

    Welcome to the site and thank you for your comment. This recipe uses chilli powder rather than fresh or whole dried chillies. I have found in the past that certain Singapore pastes use only ground spices as per a garam masala. I usually serve this with a side dish of fresh or pickled chillies to adjust the heat as desired.
    Hope this helps.
    Kind regards

    February 10, 2010 @ 8:27 am

  12. Hamish says:

    Great recipe!
    I make up a batch of paste and then freeze it in ice cube trays - then just drop a couple of cubes into a pan with your coconut milk etc for a quick laksa any time.

    September 20, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

  13. miles says:

    Many thanks and that’s a great tip-very handy.
    Hope you return again soon.
    Kind regards


    September 21, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

  14. Jill says:

    Yum, great recipe, made it tonight and thrilled with the results. Used 3 small hot chilli’s instead of chilli powder. Great result. Thanks for sharing this tasty, quick paste.

    September 14, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  15. miles says:

    Welcome to the site, glad you found the recipe of use, it’s one of my favourites.
    Kind regards

    September 14, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

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