Laksa is a noodle soup originating from descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore and Indonesia.
The laksa paste used to make the soup is full of aromatic Southeast Asian ingredients, such as Kaffir lime, lemongrass, galangal and turmeric root.
Once you have made the laksa curry paste, you are one step closer to a bowl of creamy Malaysian Beef Laksa Curry Noodle Soup!
For all of those enthusiasts who are motivated to make fresh laksa paste, I recommend doubling the recipe. Many laksa pastes contain a common ingredient in Malaysian cuisine – Shrimp paste.
This version omits the shrimp paste, and suggests the option of using Soy Sauce instead of Oyster or Thai Fish Sauce in the recipe.
Those variations make this a laksa paste recipe with a vegan option and can be safe for those with seafood allergies.
You can then take half and freeze it in ice cube trays, then transfer them to freezer safe bags when frozen. They can be used when preserved that way for up to 3 months.
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The recipe will yield enough paste to make 4 portions of laksa soup
- 5 Long Red Chiles *, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon (1 inch or 5cm square cube) Fresh Turmeric (peeled and chopped) or 1 Teaspoon (3.18g) Ground Turmeric
- 3/4 Teaspoon (2.4g) Ground Cumin
- 1 Small Brown Onion or 4 Shallots, chopped
- 2 Lemongrass Stalks, white part only, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Galangal or Fresh Ginger (about 1 inch or 5 cm square piece), peeled, chopped
- 6 Cashews, Macadamia Nuts or Peanuts
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) Oyster Sauce or Thai Fish Sauce or Soy Sauce **
- 2 - 4 Tablespoons (30-60ml) Vegetable Oil
- 2 Kaffir Lime Leaves, ribs removed or Zest of one Lime
- 1 Handful Fresh Cilantro (leaves and stems)
- 1 Tablespoon (14g) Tamarind Paste (or 2 tsp (8.3g) Light Brown Sugar & 2 tsp (9.8ml) lime juice)
- Place all ingredients (except the oil) in a food process and blend. Add oil in small amounts until a smooth paste is formed. Using all of the oil may not be necessary.
- Place the paste in an airtight container. It can be used up to a week.
* Indonesian Cabe Merah peppers are used in traditional Laksa pastes, but they can be challenging t find. You can substitute Cayenne pepper, Cihie de Arbol, Guajillo chiles (which will result in less heat. For milder heat overall, remove the seeds and membrane of the chiles. You can also used dried chiles. If using dried chiles, heat water to boiling and cover the peppers for 10 minutes to revive their texture.
** I have opted to use oyster sauce or Thai fish sauce instead of traditional shrimp paste in this recipe. The shrimp paste can be difficult to find, and can have a strong fishy flavor which is balanced by using lime juice in the laksa soup. If you opt to use the traditional shrimp paste, substituted 1 teaspoon of the paste for each tablespoon of oyster or fish sauce.