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Homemade Laksa Curry Paste

Homemade Laksa Curry Paste

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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.

Laksa Paste

Once you have made the laksa curry paste, you are one step closer to a bowl of creamy Malaysian Beef Laksa Curry Noodle Soup!

curry beef noodle recipe
While it is possible to buy a pre-made laksa paste in Asian markets, making it fresh will always yield the best results.

For all of those enthusiasts who are motivated to make fresh laksa paste, I recommend doubling the recipe.

A Word About Shrimp Paste

Many laksa pastes contain a common ingredient in Malaysian cuisine – Shrimp paste.

Shrimp paste is made from mashed shrimp or krill that has been combined with salt and fermented.

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 sometimes has a strong fishy flavor which, is balanced by using lime juice in the laksa soup.

If you opt to use the traditional shrimp paste, substitute 1 teaspoon of the shrimp paste for each tablespoon of oyster or fish sauce in the recipe below.

Soy sauce can also be substituted for a vegan option and a laksa paste that is safe for those with fish allergies.

How to store Laksa Curry Paste

Laksa Curry Paste can be placed in a sealed container and kept in the fridge for up to 10 days. The paste can also be frozen in an ice cube tray and then transferred to freezer-safe bags when frozen. They can be used when preserved that way for up to 3 months.

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Laksa Malaysian Curry

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The recipe will yield enough paste to make 4 portions of laksa soup

Yield: 4

Homemade Laksa Curry Paste

Malaysian Spicy Laksa Paste

Laksa Paste is used to make the Laksa, a Malaysian soup that is full of aromatic Southeast Asian ingredients, such as Kaffir lime, lemongrass, galangal, and turmeric root.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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 to find. You can substitute Cayenne pepper, Chile de Arbol, and Guajillo chiles (which will result in less heat. For milder heat overall, remove the seeds and membrane of the chiles. You can also use dried chiles. If using dried chiles, heat water to boiling and cover the peppers for 10 minutes to revive their texture.

**Many traditional Laksa Curry recipes use shrimp paste. If you opt to use this ingredient, substitute 1 teaspoon of the paste per tablespoon of Oyster Sauce.


Thursday 5th of August 2021

Jen, you said "this recipe will yield 4 portions of laksa soup." Question: does this mean that each portion is good for 1 person only. If so, then this recipe serves 4? Anyways, thank you for this recipe. It's great it doesn't use the shrimp paste cos my daughter is allergic to it & every laksa package contain shrimp paste. So now I can make your laksa homemade paste & she can enjoying eating laksa again. Thank you.


Thursday 5th of August 2021

Hi Mary. You can use the amount of paste made in this recipe to make enough soup for 4 people. Depending on how much spice and flavor you like, you may be able to make enough for more. I hope that helps. Enjoy!


Friday 25th of June 2021

I use this recipe time and time again with a few tweaks such as increasing the amount of each ingredient for more intensity in my laksa. This is a great and easy recipe and the results are fabulous, like restaurant standard laksa and my family really enjoy it particularly on cold days when it’s a great warming dish! I use a lot of vegetable stock and coconut milk to make the flavoursome Laksa vase and put fried beancurd and defrosted mixed oriental vegetables in the last few minutes of cooking and serve with blanched noodles and Thai basil. Sometimes I make the laksa paste in the evening and leave it covered in the fridge overnight as this further intensifies all of the wonderful ingredients and cook the laksa the following day. Highly recommend this recipe.


Friday 25th of June 2021

Thanks for taking the time to write. I agree that keeping it in the fridge overnight - great tip!

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