Penang Laksa Sauce

Michael Allemeier's complexly flavoured creamy coconut sauce makes the basis for laksa, a fragrant Southeast Asian noodle soup
Penang Laksa Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 2 litres
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 6-8 small shallots, chopped
  • 16-18 clove garlic, (about 1½ bulbs), chopped
  • large piece fresh ginger, about 80g, chopped
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, tough outer leaves discarded, bulb shredded
  • 4-5 lime leaves, shredded
  • large piece fresh galangal, about 60g, chopped
  • 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100 g Thai red chilli paste
  • 1½ tbsp Malaysian curry powder
  • 650 ml vegetable stock
  • 1.3 litres canned coconut milk


1. Put the shallots, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, lime leaves and galangal in a food processor. Whiz to a paste, scraping down the sides of the goblet several times.

2. Heat the oil in a wide heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the spice paste, chilli paste and curry powder. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, but do not allow the mixture to brown.

3. Add the stock and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, then continue to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until slightly reduced.

4. Pour through a fine sieve set over a bowl, and leave to cool until required.

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