Chicken and Shrimp Laksa


Top Chef winner Buddha Lo shares this family recipe for Chicken and Shrimp Laksa, a refreshing and brothy noodle dish popular throughout Southeast Asia. Lo's homemade laksa paste — made with fresh lemongrass, pungent shrimp paste, and nutty peanuts — forms the base of this fragrant noodle dish, while coconut cream adds a velvety mouthfeel to the aromatic broth. Top it with poached shrimp and chicken, fresh herbs, and fried shallots, and slurp with joy.

Chicken and Shrimp Laksa
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling byClaire Spollen
Total Time:
45 mins


Laksa Paste

  • 3 medium (1-ounce) shallots, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

  • 4 medium lemongrass stalks (about 4 ounces), sliced (about 1/2 cup)

  • ¼ cup canola oil

  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1 (3-inch) piece fresh galangal, peeled and chopped (about 1/4 cup)

  • 4 small dried red chiles

  • 3 large garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 cup chicken stock, divided

  • ½ cup peanuts

  • 2 teaspoons dried shrimp paste (such as Shrimp & 6A Brand Belacan)

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 2 cups coconut cream (from 1 [15-ounce] can)

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more to taste

  • 8 ounces dried rice noodles

  • 2 (8-ounce) cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced

  • 8 unpeeled raw jumbo shrimp, peeled, cleaned, and poached

  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts

  • 4 scallions (about 1 1/2 ounces), sliced (about 1/3 cup)

  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh Vietnamese mint leaves

  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

  • ¼ cup fried shallots

  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges


Make the laksa paste:

  1. Combine shallots, lemongrass, oil, ginger, galangal, red chiles, garlic, and 1/2 cup stock in a blender; process until mixture forms a thick, smooth paste, about 30 seconds. Add peanuts, shrimp paste, turmeric, coriander, sugar, and remaining 1/2 cup stock to blender; process until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Make the soup:

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium. Add laksa paste, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. Whisk in stock and coconut cream; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in fish sauce, and add more to taste, if desired.

  2. While stock mixture simmers, cook rice noodles according to package directions. Divide rice noodles evenly among 4 bowls. Arrange sliced chicken and poached shrimp evenly on noodles. Ladle hot stock mixture evenly into bowls. Top evenly with bean sprouts, scallions, mint, cilantro, fried shallots, and lime wedges.

Make Ahead

Laksa paste can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator.


Shrimp paste can be found at Asian grocery stores or online at

Suggested Pairing

Citrusy, off-dry Riesling: Fritz Haag Estate

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