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Recipe: Prawn Laksa

Timmika's fragrant Prawn Laksa prepared at home during the recent lockdown.

Laksa is a popular Malaysian coconut noodle dish. It is fragrant, delicious and warming seafood one-pot.


Serves 4

Paste Ingredients

  • 3 lemon grass stalk centers, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 8 dried chillies, soaked in water to soften
  • 15g onion, sliced thinly
  • 5g palm sugar (substitue with brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoons belachan (substitue with shrimp paste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons dried shrimps (optional)
  • 1 bunch coriander roots, chopped

Blanched Ingredients

  • 165g Hokkien or cellophane noodles
  • 75g Chinese cabbage
  • 500g large prawns, raw
  • 130g bean sprouts

Soup Ingredients

  • 15ml peanut oil for frying (substitute for vegetable oil)
  • 65g galangal, finely sliced (optional)
  • 650ml chicken stock
  • 650ml coconut milk
  • 10ml Thai Fish sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To Garnish:

  • 2 red chillies, seeds removed and finely sliced. 
  • 1 handfull of fresh coriander leaves. 


  1. Prepare Paste: In a food processor, blend all paste ingredients together until combined. Set aside
  2. Shred cabbage into 0.5cm strips, set aside
  3. Peel prawns and remove the vein, set aside. 
  4. Prepare the soup: Place a large pot on high heat and add the peanut oil 
  5. Once hot, add the paste prepared earlier and the galangal. Fry until fragrant, usually about 1 minute. 
  6. To the pot, add the stock and bring to the boil.
  7. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil again.
  8. Add Fish Sauce and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside on low heat to keep warm, but not boiling. 
  9. Prepare Blanched Ingredients: Bring a second large pot of water to the boil and prepare a sieve to remove items from the water. The water will be used to blanch multiple ingredients. 
  10. Blanch the noodles in the boiling until soft (follow package instructions). Remove and set aside. 
  11. Blanch the cabbage in the boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove and set aside. 
  12. Blanch the prawns in the boiling water for 45 seconds. Remove and set aside. 
  13. Divide the blanched noodles, cabbage and prawns into four hot serving bowls. Add bean sprouts. 
  14. Ladle the soup into the hot serving bowls. 
  15. Garnish with chillies and coriander.

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Celia Hay

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

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The School

Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine opened its first campus in Christchurch in 1995.

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