That Spicy Chick

Easy Laksa Noodle Soup

This Easy Laksa Noodle Soup is a shortcut version that is beautifully spiced and boasts a rich and creamy spicy coconut milk broth. It’s a hearty bowl of noodle soup with shrimp, chicken, fish balls and tofu puffs and can be made in under 30 minutes on any given weeknight!



 

Everyone loves an irresistible laksa noodle soup. There’s no denying how delicious and satisfying it is.

However, making a curry laksa from scratch takes time and is more of a weekend project in my opinion. You need several aromatics to first make the laksa paste and then plenty of time to simmer the broth to develop its flavors.  

I have good news for you! You can make a mindblowing and flavorful Easy Laksa Noodle Soup with a few convenient ingredients and it doesn’t take hours! Its ready in under 30 minutes and perfect for anytime a laksa craving strikes, even on a busy weeknight!

  • Fast. ✅
  • Convenient. ✅
  • Super delicious! ✅

This easy curry laksa recipe ticks all the right boxes! I think you’re going to love it!

Laksa made with Thai red curry paste in a bowl with chopsticks on top.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Quick and easy. Using Thai red curry paste and curry powder yields a similar flavor to authentic laksa. You don’t need to hunt down several aromatics to make a laksa paste or simmer this shortcut broth for hours! 
  • DELICIOUS flavors! The broth is spicy, creamy and full of irresistible coconut curry flavors!
  • Full of little treasures. We have tender chicken thigh pieces, chewy fish balls, juicy plump shrimp, and broth absorbing squishy tofu puffs!
  • Customizable. Make it as spicy or mild as you like, use any type of noodles you love, and use several or just one protein. Make this laksa YOURS!
  • Perfect for anytime! This recipe comes together in under 30 minutes and you can enjoy an easy laksa noodle soup anytime!

Ingredient Notes and Substitutes

Labeled ingredients for Easy Laksa Noodle Soup on a wooden board.
  • Aromatics: We have fresh garlic and Thai Bird’s Eye red chilies. Use any type of red chilies that you can easily find. Feel free to omit them or use less if you are sensitive to heat.
  • Chicken Broth: I used Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base and combined it with hot water to make a rich and robust flavored chicken broth. However, store-bought or homemade chicken broth can be used instead.
  • Chicken Thigh Fillets: I prefer chicken thighs as they are more flavorful and remain tender after simmering in the broth. Boneless and skinless chicken breasts can be used instead if you prefer. 
  • Shrimp (or prawns): Use pre-peeled shrimp or prawns for convenience. I recommend using large sized shrimp (size 16/20) so that they’re still big, plump and juicy and don’t shrink too much after cooking. That said, any size you have on hand works and just cook them a minute less.
  • Fried Tofu Puffs: Known as ‘tau pok’, these deep-fried tofu puffs are a classic addition to laksa noodle soup. They absorb the broth beautifully and when you sink your teeth into them, they squish out the delicious flavored soup into your mouth! Find them in the refrigerator section of your local Asian supermarket or tofu stall at a wet market if you live in Asia.
  • Fish Balls: These are like meatballs but made with fish. They have a chewy texture. Find them in packages in the fridge section at Asian supermarkets. Or if you’re based in Asia, you can buy freshly made ones at your local wet market. I prefer the non-fried variety for this broth here, but fried fish balls can be used instead too. Use sliced Asian fish cake if preferred.
  • Coconut Sugar: Known as ‘gula kelapa’ in Malaysia, this type of coconut sugar is similar to Thai palm sugar and comes in the form of hardened discs. You’ll need to finely shave it with a knife so that it dissolves more easily. I prefer using it for my Thai curries and other Southeast Asian recipes instead of palm sugar. However, feel free to use palm sugar if you have it on hand or granulated coconut or light brown sugar.
  • Thai Red Curry Paste: I used Mae Ploy brand as find it to be more authentic and tasty in flavor than other brands. However any brand will work.
  • Curry Powder: Any type of curry powder will work. I recommend Ducros or McCormick brand.
  • Coconut Milk: Use full-fat coconut milk for the best texture and flavor.
  • Fish Sauce: To season our easy laksa noodle soup with savory umami flavors.
  • Thai Chili Powder (optional): For extra heat. Thai chili powder is made up of chili flakes, seeds and powder. You can leave it out for a milder laksa broth or substitute with crushed red pepper.
  • Rice Vermicelli Noodles: I used vacuum sealed packs of rice vermicelli noodles. They are already cooked so only require heating and loosening up in a pot of boiling water. You can use fresh rice noodles too which only need a quick dip in a pot of boiling water to reheat. Dried noodles will work and should be cooked according to package instructions.
  • To Serve (optional): Serve this easy laksa noodle soup with chopped coriander (cilantro), mung bean sprouts, Asian fried shallots and lime wedges for squeezing!

Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.

Front view of laksa in bowl and toppings in small bowls.

How to Make Laksa Noodle Soup

  1. Sauté the curry paste and aromatics. Heat oil in a medium stockpot or large nonstick wok. Add the red curry paste, garlic and red chilies and sauté for a minute until fragrant. Then add the curry powder and mix to combine.
  1. Add the chicken. Sauté until the pieces are coated in the curry powder and paste mixture and no longer pink but not fully cooked yet.
  1. Build the broth. Stir in the coconut milk and chicken broth. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  1. Add the rest of the proteins. Add the shrimp, fish balls and tofu puffs. Simmer for a few minutes until the shrimp is cooked.
  1. Season. Stir in the fish sauce, coconut sugar and Thai chili powder (if using).
Added seasonings to laksa broth in wok.
  1. Cook the noodles. In a separate pot of boiling water, cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain and divide evenly into bowls.
Cooked rice vermicelli noodles in a fine mesh strainer.
  1. Serve. Ladle the laksa soup, chicken, shrimp, fish balls and fried tofu puffs evenly over the noodles. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with mung bean sprouts, Asian fried shallots and lime wedges for squeezing if desired.
Top view of laksa made with Thai red curry paste in a bowl with chopsticks.

Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.

Cook’s Tips

  • Use store-bought laksa paste. If it’s easy to find for you, you can use store-bought laksa paste instead of red curry paste and curry powder to make the broth.
  • Season to taste. Taste the broth after stirring in the seasonings. You can add more sugar, fish sauce, and chili powder if you feel it’s needed to suit your preference before switching off the heat.
  • Don’t overcook the shrimp. Two to three minutes in the hot laksa soup is all they need to cook through. Overcooking will cause them to shrink and become chewy and rubbery.

Variations

  • Use low fat coconut milk. While full-fat is preferred for a rich and creamy broth, you can use low fat or light coconut milk and stir in 1 teaspoon corn starch into the can before adding it to the wok. This way the broth will thicken slightly and develop a slightly creamier texture than if you were to use light coconut milk only.
  • Make it milder. Use a mild Thai red curry paste such as Thai Kitchen brand and curry powder. Omit the red chilies and Thai chili powder too.
  • Use one or multiple types of proteins. A typical curry laksa has fish balls, fish cakes, shrimp, chicken, tofu puffs and is also sometimes served with a boiled egg. However, you can use one or multiple types of proteins depending on your preference or what you have on hand.
  • Serve with any type of noodles you love. Hokkien noodles, egg noodles, udon, ramen or even spaghetti will taste delicious in this easy laksa noodle soup!
  • Make it gluten free. This recipe as written is gluten-free. Double check that the curry paste and rice noodles you’re using do not have any hidden gluten ingredients if you have sensitivities.
Closeup front side view of bowl with easy curry laksa.

FAQs

Can laksa be vegetarian?

To make a vegetarian laksa, use a veggie broth, Thai red curry paste without any shrimp or fish ingredients and light soy sauce instead of fish sauce to season the broth. For vegetarian protein options, you can use fried tofu puffs, vegetarian fish balls, and plant-based shrimp and/or chicken. 

How long will laksa last in the fridge?

Laksa will last for 3-4 days in a sealed airtight container in the fridge. Be sure to store the cooked noodles separate from the broth or they will absorb it and swell over time in the fridge. I recommend cooking the noodles just before you plan to eat the leftovers. You can reheat the broth in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop before you assemble the laksa noodle soup bowls.

Can I freeze laksa? 

The laksa broth will freeze well and last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Hold off on cooking the noodles and adding the toppings as they will not freeze well. The texture will be altered upon thawing. 

Front view of bowl with laksa with chopsticks on top and laksa in bowl. Text overlay "Easy Laksa Coconut Curry Noodle Soup" and "thatspicychick.com"

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Easy Curry Laksa

Easy laksa noodle soup made with Thai red curry paste in bowl.

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This Easy Laksa Noodle Soup is a shortcut 30-minute version that is beautifully spiced and boasts a rich and creamy spicy coconut milk curry broth! Make it any day or night, whenever a laksa craving strikes!

  • Author: Lavina
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Southeast Asian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 15 grams / 2 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 25 grams / 6 – 8 fresh Red Chilies (Thai Bird’s Eye or any hot red chilies – note 1) – finely chopped
  • 12 grams / 2 TSP Organic Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base (note 2 – or use 500ml / 2 cups store-bought or homemade chicken broth)
  • 500ml / 2 cups boiling Hot Water
  • 100 grams / 3.5 ounces Chicken Thigh Fillets – cleaned, trimmed, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 100 grams / 3.5 ounces peeled and deveined Shrimp (or prawns) – rinsed thoroughly
  • 60 grams / ≈ 6-7 pieces Fried Tofu Puffs – cut into halves
  • 170 grams / 6 ounces Fish Balls (non-fried or fried, or use sliced fish cake)
  • 5 grams / 1 TBSP Coconut Sugar (‘gula kelapa’, or use granulated coconut or light brown sugar – note 3) – finely shaved with a knife
  • 1 TBSP Canola Oil
  • 15 grams / 1 TBSP Thai Red Curry Paste (I used Mae Ploy brand)
  • 6 grams / 1 TBSP Curry Powder
  • 200ml / 7 fluid ounces Coconut Milk (full-fat preferred)
  • 1 TBSP Fish Sauce
  • ½ TSP Thai Chili Powder (optional – substitute with crushed red pepper), to taste
  • 400 grams / 14 ounces (2 vacuum sealed packs) Rice Vermicelli Noodles – prepared according to package instructions (note 4)
  • To Serve: Chopped coriander (cilantro), mung bean sprouts, Asian fried shallots, lime wedges for squeezing

Instructions

Prep:

  1. Prepare the fresh ingredients: Mince the garlic and finely chop the red chilies. Combine the Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base with the boiling hot water in a heatproof measuring glass and stir to make chicken broth. Slice the chicken, rinse the shrimp thoroughly, drain and pat-dry the fish balls if they came in a packet, cut the tofu puffs in half, and finely shave coconut sugar with a knife.

Easy Laksa Noodle Soup:

  1. Sauté the aromatics: Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a medium stockpot or large nonstick wok over medium-high heat. Add the red curry paste, garlic and red chilies and sauté for a minute until fragrant. Add the curry powder and mix to combine.
  2. Cook the chicken: Add the chicken and sauté until coated in the curry powder and paste mixture until no longer pink but not fully cooked yet – about 1 minute.
  3. Build the broth: Pour in the coconut milk and chicken broth and stir to combine. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the proteins: Add the shrimp, fish balls and tofu puffs. Simmer until the prawns are cooked – 3-5 minutes.
  5. Season: Stir in the fish sauce, coconut sugar and Thai chili powder (if using). Give the broth a taste and adjust seasonings if needed before switching off the heat.
  6. Cook the noodles: In a separate pot of boiling water, cook the rice vermicelli according to package instructions. Drain and divide the noodles evenly into two bowls.
  7. To Serve: Ladle the laksa broth, chicken, shrimp, fish balls and fried tofu puffs evenly over the noodles. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with mung bean sprouts, Asian fried shallots and lime wedges for squeezing if desired.

Notes

  1. Red Chilies. Use less or omit if less heat is desired.
  2. Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base. I’ve used this paste to make a rich and robust flavored chicken broth by combining it with hot water. However, store-bought or homemade chicken broth can be used instead.
  3. Coconut Sugar. Known as ‘gula kelapa’ in Malaysian, this type of coconut sugar is similar to Thai palm sugar and comes in the form of hardened discs. You’ll need to finely shave it with a knife so that it dissolves more easily. I prefer using it for my Thai curries and other Southeast Asian recipes instead of palm sugar. However, feel free to use palm sugar if you have it on hand or granulated coconut or light brown sugar.
  4. Rice Vermicelli Noodles. I used vacuum sealed packs of rice vermicelli noodles which are already fully cooked and heated them up according to package instructions in a pot of boiling water. You can use fresh rice noodles which only need a quick dip in a pot of boiling water to reheat. Or use Hokkien or egg noodles if you prefer. Dried noodles can be used too and should be cooked according to package instructions. Or use udon, ramen or spaghetti and it’ll still taste great!
  5. Storing and reheating. The laksa broth will last for 3-4 days in a sealed airtight container in the fridge. Store the cooked noodles separate from the broth or they will absorb it and swell over time in the fridge. Even better, don’t cook the noodles until just before you plan to eat the leftovers. Reheat the broth in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or in a pot on the stovetop before you assemble the laksa noodle soup bowls.
  6. Recipe adapted from Marion’s Kitchen.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
  • Calories: 755
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Sodium: 3629.6mg
  • Fat: 33.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.7g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 78.8g
  • Fiber: 3.8g
  • Protein: 37.1g
  • Cholesterol: 47mg

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