From West African Mafe to Corned Beef Tacos, over the last couple of months we’ve traveled around the world from the comfort of our kitchens through unique tastes and smells. What’s the next recipe in our global culinary adventure? Malaysian Salmon & Tofu Laksa!

Malaysian Salmon & Tofu Laksa

This is an image of Malaysian Laksa.

This recipe for Malaysian Laksa is delicious.

The first place I ever heard of this spicy noodle dish was on Travel Channel show, The Layover with Tony Bourdain. I found the Ching-He Huang recipe below and adapted it into a Dinner Diva classic, using salmon and tofu instead of shrimp.


  • 1/2 cup Laksa Curry Paste (recipe follows), or store-bought yellow curry paste or Tom Yum paste
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • One 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 7 ounces dried flat wide rice noodles
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, deveined, tails left on
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
  • Sea salt
  • Cayenne pepper or red chili flakes
  • Small handful fresh cilantro stems
  • Small handful fresh Thai basil stems

Laksa Curry Paste:

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 Tablespoons shrimp paste
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh peeled turmeric root or dried powdered turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, smashed and roughly chopped
  • One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red Fresno chile, stemmed and sliced crosswise


Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add the Laksa Curry Paste and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, lime juice and coconut milk and stir well. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook until just cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles until al dente, about 3 minutes, and then drain and rinse under cold water to refresh.

Add 3/4 cup of the bean sprouts to the shrimp mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and cayenne pepper. To serve, divide the noodles between 2 large, shallow bowls and ladle the shrimp and broth over each. Garnish with clusters of cilantro and basil, sprinkle the remaining sprouts over the top and serve immediately.

Combine the coconut milk, shrimp paste, oil, brown sugar, coriander, cumin, salt, turmeric, chili powder, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, onions and chilies in a food processor or blender and whiz into a smooth paste.

Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Yield: about 2 cups.

Dinner Diva Tip: I used salmon and tofu (1/2 lb each) instead of the shrimp in this recipe. This is a great substitution for those avoiding shellfish!

Download and print the full recipe here.

What types of Malaysian cuisine have you had before? Would you have thought of substituting salmon and tofu for the shrimp?

Mary Hathaway, Owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to: for more info.