Seafood Laksa

Mussels at Little Saigon
Little Saigon fishmonger
Browsing at Little Saigon

This famous Malaysian soup is the perfect dish, year round. Its hearty noodles and warming broth make it comforting when the weather blusters and the rain comes down sideways. However, the fragrant, spicy base, fresh ingredients and balanced sour notes also make it refreshing on the hottest summer day.

This dish can be made with as many or as few seafood types as you’d like. It’s best to use whatever is fresh, local and sustainable.

This recipe was the subject of GoodFishBadFish’s journey to the Footscray fishmongers for the story “The Road to Sustainable Seafood Laksa”, published in The Casual Cyclist’s Guide to Melbourne.

Preparation time: 45 minutes


For the laksa paste
2 red chillies

4 cloves garlic

2 Tbs grated ginger

4 shallots

1 bunch coriander roots

1 stalk lemongrass chopped

1 Tbs shrimp paste

2 Tbs ground coriander

2 Tsp turmeric

4 Tbs oil


More ingredients
500g local Blue Mussels

20 peeled Prawns, preferably wild caught and from Australia
200g Squid or Calamari, sliced

400g white fish, cubed, try Bream, Flathead or Whiting

2 Cups water or fish stock

1 x 400ml tin coconut milk

6 kaffir lime leaves

400g noodles, hokkien, vermicelli or a mix of the two

1 Cup bean shoots

1 Cup roughly chopped coriander leaves

2 Tbs grated palm sugar

2 Tbs fish sauce (or to taste)

Juice of 2 limes


  1. Blend the paste ingredients until smooth using a stick blender or food processor
  2. Fry the paste and lime leaves until they are fragrant (approx. 5 minutes)
  3. Add the coconut milk and stock or water. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the flavour has fully infused
  4. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice to taste
  5. Add the seafood and cook for 3-4 minutes, until mussels have opened and the other seafood has just heated through
  6. Prepare noodles by packet instructions and place into bowls
  7. Ladle the soup and seafood over noodles and top with bean shoots and coriander

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