10 servings
Prep Time
Cook Time
Difficulty Level
Download or Print

Actress Selena Tan shares her mum’s laksa steamboat recipe, which has been a staple in her family’s reunion dinner for the past 30 years.


  • Shells from 20 prawns
  • 1.5 litres water
  • 160 ml vegetable oil
  • 500 g store-bought laksa rempah (spice paste)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, remove white portions and crush
  • 400 ml evaporated milk
  • 5 tbsps light soya sauce
  • 10 pieces tau pok (fried beancurd)
  • 100 g finely chopped laksa leaves
  • Sambal, to garnish

In a big pot set over high heat, add shells from 20 prawns into 1.5 litres of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for about 30 mins. It should be reduced to about 1.2 litres. Drain and set aside. Discard the prawn shells.


In a wok set over high heat, add 100 ml vegetable oil and laksa rempah and fry for a minute. Turn down heat to medium and continuously stir the mixture for about 45 mins. Set aside.


In a pot set over high heat, add 60 ml vegetable oil and rempah. Use a spatula to flatten the rempah around the pot. Once the rempah sizzles, turn heat down to medium, add crushed lemongrass stalks and mix well with rempah for 2 to 3 mins.


Pour prawn stock prepared earlier into the pot. Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Stir the mixture occasionally.


Pour in evaporated milk gradually while stirring the mixture in the pot.


Stir 5 tbsps of light soya sauce into the mixture.


Add tau pok into the pot and cook for 5 to 10 mins.


Use the laksa stock as a steamboat base. Add ingredients of your choice, such as yong tau foo, prawns and cockles.

Photo: Nivash Joyvin/ST

Download or print the recipe