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Chicken Curry Laksa Soup

Spicy chicken curry Laksa is the stuff dreams are made of. What’s more enticing than a steamy bowl of rich, spicy soup with layers of flavor, chunks of chicken, and tender rice noodles?

low angle shot of a bowl of chicken curry laksa soup.

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For this laksa recipe, the broth is flavored with an intense laksa paste made from chiles, nuts, spices, and herbs and enriched with creamy coconut milk. Tender rice noodles, vegetables, tofu puffs, and chunks of chicken make it a satisfying meal in a bowl.

Why you’ll love this curry laksa recipe

This iconic Southeast Asian dish is the perfect fusion food, marrying Chinese, Malaysian, and other Southeast Asian cuisines. The broth itself is rich and infused with layers of flavor from laksa paste.

This curry laksa recipe includes a homemade laksa paste recipe. The laksa paste is made from garlic, galangal or ginger, lemongrass, chiles, dried shrimp, and ground spices. It’s a deeply flavored and fragrant base for the soup.

Classic toppings for curry laksa are chile paste, chilies, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and chopped fresh herbs.

Overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make curry laksa noodle soup.

Ingredients you need

This Chicken Curry Laksa recipe is made with homemade laksa paste, so the list of ingredients is fairly long. But the resulting flavor is totally worth it! If you really can’t bear to make the laksa paste yourself, you can use a store-bought laksa paste. The soup will still be amazing.

Here’s what you need to make the Chicken Curry Laksa from scratch:

  • Laksa paste—This intensely flavored paste gives the laksa broth it’s character. The laksa paste recipe below includes dried chiles, dried shrimp, shrimp paste, macadamia nuts, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, curry powder, ground turmeric, galangal or ginger, garlic, onion, and lemongrass. You can make it yourself using the laksa paste recipe below, or use a store-bought laksa paste, which you can find in an Asian supermarket or online.
  • Neutral oil—You can use any neutral flavored oil you like. Avocado oil, canola oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil, or even coconut oil are all fine choices.
  • Skinless boneless chicken thighs—dark meat has the most flavor and stays nice and tender in the soup. You can add cooked shredded chicken to the soup instead if you like.
  • Chicken broth—Use a homemade broth or canned or boxed broth.
  • Coconut milkCoconut milk adds richness and flavor. Look for a brand with few additives. You can also use a smaller quantity of coconut cream, but you might need to add a bit more broth.
  • Deep fried tofu puffs—You can find tofu puffs in Asian supermarkets, in the refrigerator near the regular tofu. You can also make your own tofu puffs by frying tofu cubes in oil over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until they’re browned and crisp.
  • Rice noodles—I used rice vermicelli noodles, but you can use thicker rice noodles or wheat or egg noodles if you like. There are no hard and fast rules. It’s your laksa and you can make it however you like!
  • Fish sauce—This provides both salt and umami. I like the Vietnamese 3 Crabs brand fish sauce. Red Boat Fish Sauce is also a good brand.
  • Sugar—You can use regular granulated sugar, brown sugar, or palm sugar.
  • Lime juice—A squeeze of fresh lime juice brightens the soup and balances all the rich and spicy flavors.
  • A dollop of spiceChile paste or sambal oelek stirred into the soup adds punch.
  • Thai red chilies—Sliced fresh chiles had another punch of heat when sprinkled on top of the soup.
  • Cilantro—There’s nothing like a bit of fresh, green, herbiness to finish off a spicy soup.
  • More toppings—Other common toppings for curry laksa noodle soup are bean sprouts, lime juice and lime wedges, hard-boiled eggs, julienned cucumbers, crispy fried shallots, chopped peanuts, and fresh mint leaves.
Overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make curry laksa paste from scratch.

How to make it

There are countless recipes for laksa noodle soup or even for curry laksa, but that’s one of the things that makes it such an appealing dish. You can put your own spin on the recipe if you like, but the steps and method are basically the same. Here’s how to make it:

  1. To make the laksa paste, combine the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a paste.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the package directions and then drain.
  3. To make the laksa soup, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add some of the Laksa paste, and cook, stirring, until the oil begins to separate. Add chicken and cook3 to 4 minutes more, until the chicken changes color from pink to white.
  4. Add the broth and coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 7 minutes.
  5. Add the tofu puffs, salt, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  6. To serve, divide the noodles between the serving bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles.
  7. Serve hot, garnished with the chiles, chile paste, cilantro, and any other toppings you like.
Overhead shot of a bowl of chicken curry laksa soup.

What to serve with laksa noodle soup

In addition to all the savory toppings, you might want to serve a simple, light, and refreshing salad like Japanese Cucumber Salad. Garlic Naan is great for sopping up the spicy broth, and of course, lots of ice cold beer!

If you love Asian noodle dishes, try my Spicy Miso Ramen, Vegetarian Dan Dan Noodles, Singapore Noodles, and Beef Yakisoba!

Yield: Serves 4

Chicken Curry Laksa Soup

Close up shot of the curry laksa in a bowl with a spoon.

Spicy chicken curry Laksa soup is flavored with an intense laksa paste made from chiles, nuts, spices, and herbs and enriched with creamy coconut milk. Tender rice noodles, vegetables, tofu puffs, and chunks of chicken make it a satisfying meal in a bowl.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

For the laksa paste

  • 8 whole dried red chilies, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, then drained
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1-inch piece galangal or ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (white part only)

For the soup

  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 6 to 8 pieces of tofu puffs *
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice 

For garnish

  • Chile chile paste or sambal oelek
  • Chopped Thai red chiles
  • Chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. To make the laksa paste, combine the paste ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a paste.
  2. Cook the noodles according to the package directions and then drain.
  3. To make the soup, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the Laksa paste, and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the oil begins to separate. Add the chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, until the chicken changes color from pink to white.
  4. Add the broth and coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 7 minutes.
  5. Add the tofu puffs, salt, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  6. To serve, divide the noodles between the serving bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles.
  7. Serve hot, garnished with the chiles, chile paste, and cilantro.
  8. Add chicken stock and coconut milk. Bring it to a boil. Cover and cook for 7 minutes. 

Notes

  1. The prepared soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Freeze the soup without the noodles, preparing fresh noodles just before serving. To reheat frozen laksa, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then heat it over a medium flame until heated through. You may need to add a bit of water or broth if the soup has become too thick.
  2. Laksa paste can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
  3. Sambal Oelek (chili paste) is optional but recommended. It’s essential to add some heat and flavor to this Laksa.
  4. Common curry laksa toppings are bean sprouts, lime juice and wedges, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers (julienned), crispy fried shallots, mint leaves, cilantro, chili paste, and red chilies. Add or combine toppings however you like!

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 1137Total Fat 72gSaturated Fat 20gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 47gCholesterol 21mgSodium 1728mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 13gSugar 12gProtein 100g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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By on April 19th, 2022

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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7 thoughts on “Chicken Curry Laksa Soup”

  1. I love your recipes and this curry laksa didn’t disappoint – I’m putting it on the menu for next week too…if I can wait that long!

    Reply
  2. I loved everything about this soup!!
    It was warm, comforting, full of flavor and just the right level of spice.
    I want to make it again today as I still keep thinking about it.
    DELISH!

    Reply

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