Prawn Laksa


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a starter

Appears in

My Asian Kitchen

My Asian Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2018

  • About

Malay cuisine is a mash-up of local Chinese, Thai and Indian influences, which makes their soups, curries and noodles dazzle with exotic spices, creamy coconut and hot chillies. What distinguishes laksa paste from red curry is the use of nuts. Traditionally it’s candlenuts, but they’re tricky to source so I use macadamias.

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 20 minutes


  • 6 macadamia nuts
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 75 g ( oz) yellow or red curry paste
  • 250 ml ( fl oz) chicken stock
  • 1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin coconut milk
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 tbsp tamarind purée
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 150 g 5 oz) green beans, chopped
  • 200 g 7 oz) large raw prawns
  • 200 g 7 oz) thin rice vermicelli
  • 100 g ( oz) pineapple
  • large handful each chopped coriander (cilantro) and mint leaves


Using a mortar and pestle, crush the macadamia nuts to a fine paste.

In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and add the curry paste and crushed macadamia nuts. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the stock, coconut milk, spices, tamarind, palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, then add the beans and prawns. Simmer for 2–3 minutes and remove from the heat.

Pour boiling water over the rice noodles and leave for 2 minutes or until soft.

Cut the pineapple into 2 cm (¾ inch) batons.

Divide the noodles among four large bowls and ladle the laksa over. Top with the pineapple, chopped coriander and mint and pickled red chilli and shallots. Serve with crispy fried shallots.