Singaporean Shrimp & Chicken Noodle Soup (Laksa)

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 10m
Ready In

"Laksa is a vibrant seafood and chicken noodle soup eaten from breakfast through dinner in Singapore. For maximum flavor, the shrimp shells are used to give flavor to the broth that's seasoned with shallots, lemon grass and Thai red curry. This is a creation of Milk Street."

Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (628.2 g)
  • Calories 524.4
  • Total Fat - 32.8 g
  • Saturated Fat - 17.3 g
  • Cholesterol - 197.8 mg
  • Sodium - 1981 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 25.1 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 7.4 g
  • Sugars - 8.5 g
  • Protein - 39.2 g
  • Calcium - 381.4 mg
  • Iron - 8.2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 58 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.3 mg

Step 1

In a food processor, combine the shallots, garlic, curry paste, lemon grass, ginger, turmeric and cilantro stems. Process until finely chopped, about 20 seconds.

Step 2

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until beginning to smoke. Add the shrimp shells and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to char, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the shallot mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the paste begins to stick, about 2 minutes. Add 2 quarts water and bring to a boil over high, then reduce to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer set over a large heat-safe bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.

Step 4

Return the broth to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Stir in the chicken, tofu, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of chili-garlic sauce. Return to a simmer, cover and reduce to low. Cook until a fork inserted into the chicken meets no resistance, about 30 minutes.

Step 5

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the remaining fish sauce and 1 tablespoon of the remaining chili-garlic sauce. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Step 6

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then remove from the heat. Stir in the noodles and let soak until softened, but still chewy, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water and drain again. Divide the noodles evenly among 4 serving bowls.

Step 7

When the chicken is cooked, transfer to a bowl, then use 2 forks to shred it into bite-size pieces. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in the coconut milk. Bring to a simmer over medium, then reduce to low. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 8

Off heat, stir in the cilantro leaves, the remaining 4 tablespoons fish sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce and the lime juice. Taste and season with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup over the noodles. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges and chili-garlic sauce.

NOTE: The spiciness of the soup can be boosted up with extra chili-garlic sauce to your liking. If you like, garnish with chopped cucumber, halved hard-cooked eggs and chopped roasted peanuts.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.