Seafood Laksa: Singaporean Shrimp & Fish Soup Recipe

Looking to learn how to make the the best homemade Seafood Laksa?

Our quick & easy Singaporean Soup recipe is a perfect lunch or dinner idea for a cold Fall or Winter day and takes just 30 minutes to make!

This comforting Seafood Laksa features flavourful ingredients like tamarind, shrimp paste, fish sauce, lime juice, chili, curry powder, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaf and cilantro.

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What Is Soup?

Soup is a liquid food, generally served warm or hot (but can also be served cold like gazpacho), that is prepared by combining meat or vegetables with stock or water.

Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavours are extracted, creating a rich broth.

Soups are similar to stews, and in some cases there may not be a clear distinction between the two. Soups generally have more liquid (broth) than chunkier and heartier stews.

In traditional French cuisine, soups are classified into two groups: clear soups (bouillon and consomme) and thick soups (purees, bisques, veloutes).

Purées are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish or vegetables thickened with cream; cream soups may be thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter, and cream.

Ingredients you'll need to make traditional Seafood Laksa Singaporean Soup.
Ingredients you’ll need to make traditional Seafood Laksa Singaporean Soup.

History of Soup

Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers, such as clay pots. To boil the water hot rocks were used.

The word soup comes from French soupe (broth), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa (“bread soaked in broth”) from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word “sop”, a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.

The word restaurant (meaning “restoring”) was first used in France in the 16th century, to refer to a highly concentrated, inexpensive soup, sold by street vendors, that was advertised as a cure to physical exhaustion. In 1765, a Parisian entrepreneur opened a shop specializing in such soups. This prompted the use of the modern word restaurant for eating establishments.

In America, the first colonial cookbook was published by William Parks in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1742, based on Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife; or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, and it included several recipes for soups and bisques.

English cooking dominated early colonial cooking; but as new immigrants arrived from other countries, other national soups gained popularity. In particular, German immigrants living in Pennsylvania were famous for their potato soups. In 1794, Jean Baptiste Gilbert Payplat dis Julien, a refugee from the French Revolution, opened an eating establishment in Massachusetts called The Restorator, and became known as the “Prince of Soups”.

Our easy Seafood Laksa recipe features store bought Laksa Paste.
Our easy Seafood Laksa recipe features store bought Laksa Paste.

What Is Singaporean Seafood Laksa?

Singapore is known for having an obsessive food culture. Its unique location offers a muddling of fresh Southeast Asian flavours thanks to its proximity to Malaysia and Indonesia.

Singapore also has a uniquely diverse population featuring indigenous Malay and large immigrant communities from India and China. Singapore is known for having some of the best street food in Asia, offering bustling hawker stalls in the city’s colourful Chinatown and friendly Little India neighbourhoods.

Characterized by its rich and spicy broth, Seafood Laksa is a comforting noodle soup and one of the classic dishes found in Singapore. It was developed under the influence of different culinary traditions, which has led to the creation of numerous regional varieties that differ in flavours and ingredients.

Two of the most famous versions are the sour, tamarind-based asam laksa and the creamy curry laksa. Especially flavouored in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, laksa is usually prepared and enjoyed at hawker stalls as a hearty main course.

Believed to have originated as a combination of Chinese noodle soup (brought over b Chinese migrant cooks settling in nearby Malacca, Malaysia) and local spices and coconut milk, Seafood Laksa falls under Peranakan cuisine.

Many Seafood Laksa recipes feature a slew of seafood like clams, mussels and scallops. Our homemade Curry Seafood Laksa features succulent white fish and plump prawns.

Homemade Seafood Laksa features prawns and white fish.
Homemade Seafood Laksa features prawns and white fish.

Travel to Singapore by Cooking Seafood Laksa at Home

I love traveling through Asia. My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.

After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout southeast Asia for 6 months, visiting the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, LaosMyanmarThailand and Vietnam.

I spent 3 jam-packed days adventuring through the spotless streets of Singapore. I arrived to Asia’s smallest country on a flight from Kuching on the Island of Borneo after scuba diving the world famous coral reefs of Sipadan.

My fondest memories of my time in the tiny Southeast Asian city were visits to the world famous Singapore Zoo and National Museum, which has a captivating exhibit on the city’s famous hawker food culture. I ate every breakfast, lunch and dinner in Singapore at al fresco food stalls featuring spicy Indian curry, Chinese dim sum, coconut milk infused Malay soups and Indonesian satay skewers.

I tasted my first ever laksa while sitting in a casual hawker mall near Singapore’s bustling harbour. I ordered a Seafood Laksa with curry after a local had said it’s the best Singaporean Soup you’ll ever taste.

After slurping through splattering rice noodles covered in spicy coconut broth I was officially hooked on Seafood Laksa with curry.

Cook the shrimp with the shell on to add additional flavour to your homemade Seafood Laksa.
Cook the shrimp with the shell on to add additional flavour to your homemade Seafood Laksa.

Where To Eat Authentic Singaporean Soup

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you may have access to a local Southeast Asian restaurant that serves their very own take on Singaporean Soup.

Haven’t traveled to Singapore before? It may be helpful to first sample Seafood Laksa at a local restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can also assess the variety of garnishes used and ideal seafood to incorporate before trying to make this popular Singaporean Soup at home from scratch.

So where’s the best restaurant or hawker food court to slurp authentic Seafood Laksa in Singapore? Local favourites include 328 Katon Laksa, Sungei Road Laksa, Colony Laksa, Depot Road Zhen Shan Mei Claypot Laksa and National Kitchen by Violet Oon.

In Toronto, popular Southeast Asian restaurants that may serve Singaporean Soup include Pinky’s Ca PhePho PhuongPho VistroAnh DaoPho HungPho Asia 21, The Golden Turtle, Sabai Sabai, Sukothai, Khao San Road, Pai, Kiin, Bangkok Garden, Mengrai Thai, Soos and Favorites Thai BBQ.

Assemble Singaporean Soup Seafood Laksa in large bowls featuring rice noodles, bean sprouts, fried tofu and curry sauce.
Assemble Singaporean Soup Seafood Laksa in large bowls featuring rice noodles, bean sprouts, fried tofu and curry sauce.

My Family Loves Singaporean Seafood Laksa

My family has a tradition of eating soup and salad for lunch on Sunday’s after getting home from church. Soup is such an simple and brainless meal to serve a busy family with kids.

My dad would often make cream of tomato soup and serve a bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches and pickles. Our family also loved slurping through bowls of Butternut Squash Soup, French Onion Soup and Chicken Noodle Soup.

Some of the fondest memories of my childhood spent in Toronto, Markham, Oakville and Muskoka are cozying up to a bowl of homemade soup with gourmet crackers, artisanal cheese and sourdough bread.

During October in Ontario we’d often visit popular Fall Fairs in Norfolk County, Niagara and Prince Edward County to go on fun rides, run through corn mazes and purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables at the peak of harvest season.

Ginger, garlic, chili, cilantro and fresh seafood are available in abundance year round in Canada but we especially love to serve this spicy soup during the chilly winter season.

The best Seafood Laksa is full of hearty ingredients. This quick and easy Seafood Laksa is a great way to incorporate nutritious ingredients into your diet during the colder months of the year.

Seafood Laksa is our favourite Singaporean Soup featuring fragrant basil and cilantro.
Seafood Laksa is our favourite Singaporean Soup featuring fragrant basil and cilantro.

Seafood Laksa Health Benefits

Our Singaporean Soup recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Ginger contains at least 14 phytochemricals, many of which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a good source of copper, which supports your bones, blood and nervous system. 

The star component of turmeric is curcumin, a potent phytochemical that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is often prescribed in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to help relieve arthritis, aid digestion and inhibit the growth of cancers. 

A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, limes help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.

A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals. 

Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese and phosphorous.

Chicken is high in protein and provides B vitamins such as niacin, which helps your body access the energy in foods.

Seafood is a high-protein food that is low in calories, total fat, and saturated fat. High in vitamins and minerals, seafood has been shown to have numerous health benefits including decreasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, and hypertension. 

We love serving Seafood Laksa to a crowd at a Singaporean-themed dinner party.
We love serving Seafood Laksa to a crowd at a Singaporean-themed dinner party.

Homemade Laksa Paste

Place all ingredients, except the oil in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add oil and continue blending until it becomes a fine paste.

  • 1 Onion peeled and chopped
  • 4 Red Chilii deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp Fresh Ginger minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Lemongrass Stalk
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro Stems
  • 1 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Tamarind Paste
  • 1 tbsp Shrimp Paste
  • 2 tsp Curry Powder
  • 3 tbsp Canola Oil

Homemade Singaporean Soup Recipe Tips

This healthy Seafood Laksa is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few tips for first time soup makers!

  • Use a large cast iron dutch oven with a high rim to reduce splatter when cooking.
  • We suggest using a high quality rubber spatula spoon when making soup so you can easily stir, scrape down the side of the pot and sip to check if it needs to be seasoned further with more salt before spooning into bowls.
  • Visit an Asian grocer to purchase ingredients like rice noodles, lime leaf, lemongrass, tamarind, shrimp paste, fish sauce and fried tofu.
  • Asian grocery stores typically sell prepared laksa paste. You can substitute homemade laksa paste for 7oz of store-bought paste.
  • We wanted to write a quick & easy soup recipe so suggest using store-bought deep fried tofu. If you like to make all your meals from scratch, why not try making your own homemade deep fried tofu?
  • If you’d like to make the recipe really spicy, feel free to add additional chili or chili sauce.

What To Serve with Seafood Laksa

There’s nothing more comforting on a cold day then cozying up to a bowl of soup with a fresh salad, gourmet crackers, artisanal cheeses, sourdough bread, savoury muffins and homemade pickles.

If you’re hosting a large dinner party you might want to serve our easy Shrimp & White Fish Laksa as an appetizer before serving heartier mains.

We love enjoying Seafood Laksa with Osaka Okonomayaki, Calgary Ginger Beef, Green Onion Cake, Indian Crepes, Vietnamese Crepe Bánh Xèo, Bun Cha, Pork & Beef Mince Curry Khua Kling, Chiang Mai Noodles Khao Soi, Pad Kra Pao Thai Basil Stir-Fry and Laos Papaya Salad Tum Mak Hoong.

After dinner why not dazzle your guests with one of our popular desserts such as Oat Flour Cookies with Chocolate Chips, Dark Chocolate Lindt Lindor Cookies, Maraschino Cherry Cupcakes Recipe or Cinnamon Babka For Chocolate Lovers.

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Storing Seafood Laksa

If you have leftover Singaporean Soup you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To reheat simply zap it in the microwave or simmer in a small saucepan on the stove.

We love doubling our soup recipes so can store leftovers in the freezer and save time on cooking in the kitchen. We suggest storing leftover soup in Pyrex freezer safe containers that have a snug lid so there’s not spilling.

NOTE: rice noodles, beansprouts and fried tofu don’t particularly freeze well. We suggest freezing the soup broth but defrosting and serving with freshly cooked noodles, tofu and garnishes.

Be sure to let your soup reach room temperature before storing it in the freezer. If you add a hot jar of soup to a cold freezer it will significantly reduce the interior temperature and potentially spoil your food.

How To Make Singaporean Seafood Laksa

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Singaporean Soup Seafood Laksa

Learn how to make healthy Seafood Laksa. Our easy spicy Singaporean Soup is made with curry, coconut milk, shrimp, fish and rice noodles.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Asian, Singaporean
Keyword: Seafood Laksa, Singaporean Soup
Servings: 6
Calories: 517kcal

Equipment

  • Food processor
  • French knife
  • Dutch Oven or Large Soup Pot
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons

Ingredients

Shrimp & Fish Laksa

  • 200 g Rice Vermicelli Noodles
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Laksa Paste
  • 10 oz Cod or Haddock Fillet skin removed
  • 1 lb Raw Shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 400 ml Coconut Milk
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 4 Lime Leaf
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 Limes juiced
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 cup Fried Tofu Cubes

Seafood Laksa Garnish

  • 200 g Beansprouts
  • 1/4 cup Scallions chopped
  • 1/4 cup Basil
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro leaves

Instructions

  • Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Run under cold water, strain and rest at room temperature.
  • In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add Laksa Paste and saute, stirring constantly until it becomes fragrant and dark in colour about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chicken broth scraping up all the brown bits. Add the lime leaf and sugar then simmer on low heat.
  • Add shrimp and fish, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add coconut milk and simmer until seafood has cooked thoroughly, no more than 5 minutes.
  • Add lime juice and fish sauce to taste, adding a teaspoon at a time. The broth should taste rich and deep, and slightly salty and just a little limey.
  • Drop fried tofu cubes into the flavourful seafood laksa broth, using a spoon to toss them in the sauce.
  • Divide the cooked rice noodles into large soup bowls. Ladle flavourful soup over noodles. Garnish bowls with a handful of fresh beansprouts, cilantro, basil and scallions.

Nutrition

Calories: 517kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.2g | Protein: 40.3g | Fat: 30.9g | Saturated Fat: 15.9g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 737mg | Potassium: 521mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 3mg

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