Two moms. Five daughters. Opposite ends of the globe.

Two moms. Five daughters. A friendship that spans opposite ends of the globe.

We have been best friends for ages with a shared love for good food. A desire of good health for ourselves and our families have lead us to exploring the paleo lifestyle together. Enjoy our adventure!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Laksa Lemak

Curry laksa is a spicy, coconut-curry-noodle soup from Malaysia and one our favorite weekend lunches. Lemak refers specifically to the addition of coconut milk, one of my favorite ingredients to create a rich, creamy, dish. Many traditional preparations of this dish call for tofu and mixed seafood, but I prefer a simpler style made with ground turkey, leftover roasted chicken, or even meatless. I paleo-ize the dish by using kelp noodles instead of vermicelli or rice noodles and also add cut, fresh vegetables; it's a great way to get rid of veggies in the fridge.

Serves 4

Note that many recipes exist for homemade rempah (laksa paste). I have also seen pre-packaged laksa paste, but have yet to find a paleo-friendly brand available locally. Since I always have Thai curry paste on-hand, I use that as the spice mixture for my laksa. Not authentic, but good enough.

  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 "scoop" red or panang curry paste (start with 2-3 tsp)
  • 1-2 cans coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken broth (rich, homemade broth is the best)
  • 1 package kelp noodles, rinsed and drained 
  • 1-2 T fish sauce
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice
  • chilies or sambal oelek for more kick (optional)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut, if necessary
  • 2-3 T fresh basil or cilantro, chopped (optional)

  1. Heat oil in a wok or pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add ground turkey and fry until cooked through. If using leftover chicken, add it to the pan and continue to the next step.
  3. Add curry paste and mix well to distribute throughout the meat.
  4. Add the coconut milk. I usually begin by adding one can of coconut milk. After everything else has been added, I test taste to see if I want to add more. I usually end up using half of the second can.
  5. Add the chicken broth, kelp noodles, fish sauce, lime juice, and chilies, if using. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Test taste and if necessary, adjust the flavor with more curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, and/or chilies. I like to get the coconut gravy tasting "perfect" before moving the next step.
  7. Add the vegetables and simmer until they reach a desired doneness.
  8. Stir in cilantro, if using.
  9. Serve immediately.


  1. Loved this recipie--I omitted the kelp noodles (couldn't find them at our local asian grocery), but there were enough vegies to satisfy all us! Thanks for the great recipie!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed the laksa. I make it nearly every Saturday for lunch. I find the kelp noodles at my local health food store; our local Asian food store doesn't carry them. But good news for you: They don't need to be refrigerated until opened and I'm pretty sure Amazon sells them online.

  3. I made this! YUM! I think I could live on coconut-based curry dishes every day for the rest of my life.