Skip to Content

Southeast Asian Flavors: 5 BEST Laksa Paste Substitutes

Oh boy, are you in for a treat! Southeast Asian Flavors are like the wild, fun cousin of your usual dinner lineup.

Ever tried making Laksa and found yourself all geared up, only to realize you’re missing the key player, the Laksa paste?

Yup, we’ve been there too. It’s not just about mixing spices; it’s a dance of flavors that brings a dish alive.

And guess what? You can still whip up an amazing bowl of Laksa with a few clever swaps.

No Laksa paste? No problem. We’ve got you covered with five fantastic substitutes that might just be hanging out in your kitchen this very moment.

Roll up your sleeves, because we’re about to turn your kitchen into the hottest Southeast Asian eatery on the block.

What is Laksa Paste?

what is laksa paste

Laksa Paste is a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking.

It’s made from a variety of fresh and dried spices, including lemongrass, galangal, chili peppers, shallots, shrimp paste, and tamarind.

The spice blend varies by region and chef, but the resulting paste is always fragrant and flavorful.

When used in curries or soups, Laksa Paste adds a complex depth of flavor; it is both spicy and sour, with a hint of sweetness from the tamarind.

If you can’t find Laksa Paste at your local grocery store, it’s easy to make at home.

Just grind all of the ingredients together in a spice grinder or blender until they form a smooth paste.

When shopping for laksa paste, look for a product that is made with fresh ingredients and has a well-balanced flavor.

The paste should be thick and creamy, with a slightly spicy and fragrant aroma.

It is also important to check the label to make sure that the paste does not contain preservatives or artificial flavors.

Once you have found a laksa paste that meets your requirements, be sure to store it in a cool and dark place.

Laksa paste can last up to six months if stored properly.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Laksa Paste

If you can’t find laksa paste at your local grocery store, don’t worry.

There are several substitutes that will work just as well in your recipe.

1 – Thai Red Curry Paste

thai red curry paste

Thai Red Curry Paste is a flavorful addition to many Thai dishes.

It is made from a blend of chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, and shrimp paste.

This paste can be used to add flavor to a variety of dishes, including curries, soups, and stir-fries.

When used in small amounts, it can add a subtle depth of flavor to a dish.

However, when used in larger amounts, it can provide a fiery heat that will please even the most adventurous eaters.

No matter how you choose to use it, Thai Red Curry Paste is an essential ingredient for anyone who wants to create authentic Thai cuisine.

2 – Thai Green Curry Paste

thai green curry paste

Thai green curry paste is a blend of aromatic spices and herbs that is essential to the flavor of Thai green curry.

The paste is made by grinding together fresh green chiles, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, cilantro, and cumin.

These ingredients are then combined with fresh ginger, turmeric, lime zest, and fish sauce.

The resulting paste has a vibrant green color and a complex flavor that is both spicy and sour.

Thai green curry paste is essential in many Thai dishes, such as green curry chicken and Thai green curry shrimp.

It can also be used to add flavor to soups, stews, and stir-fries.

3 – Sambal Oelek

sambal oelek

Sambal oelek is a spicy paste made from ground chili peppers, vinegar, and salt.

It is used as a condiment in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine.

The flavor of sambal oelek is fiery and savory, with a hint of sweetness from the vinegar.

The spice level can vary depending on the chili pepper used, but it is typically quite hot.

Sambal oelek can be used as a dipping sauce, added to soups or stews, or mixed into stir-fries.

It is also an essential ingredient in nasi goreng, a popular rice dish from Indonesia.

Thanks to its bold flavor, sambal oelek is a versatile condiment that can add a punch of flavor to any dish.

4 – Massaman Curry Paste

massaman curry paste

Massaman curry paste is a key ingredient in Thai dishes of the same name.

The paste is made from a blend of spices, including dried chilies, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom.

These spices are combined with shallots, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger to create a richly flavorful paste.

Massaman curry is typically made with beef or chicken, but the paste can also be used in vegetarian dishes.

It is worth noting that Massaman curry paste is relatively mild compared to other Thai curries; this is due in part to the use of cinnamon and cardamom, which help to balance out the heat of the chilies.

5 – Penang Curry Paste

penang curry paste

Penang curry paste is a fragrant, flavorful paste used in Malaysian cooking.

It is made from a blend of dried chili peppers, shrimp paste, galangal, lemongrass, shallots, and spices.

The paste has a slightly sweet taste with a hint of heat and is used to flavor soups, stews, and curries.

Penang curry is commonly served with chicken or fish, but it can also be used to flavor other dishes such as vegetables or noodles.

The paste can be purchased at most Asian markets or made at home using a food processor or blender.


In conclusion, there are a few options that can be used as substitutes for laksa paste.

These substitutes include Thai red curry paste, green curry paste, sambal oelek, Massaman curry paste, and Penang curry paste.

While these substitutes may not be exact replicas of laksa paste, they can still provide a similar flavor and consistency.

When choosing a substitute, it is important to consider what other flavors will be present in the dish and to adjust the amount used accordingly.

With a little experimentation, you should be able to find a suitable substitute that works well in your dish.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Laksa Paste

Looking to whip up a delicious laksa dish but don't have laksa paste on hand? No worries! We've compiled a list of the 5 best substitutes for laksa paste that will still give your dish that authentic Southeast Asian flavor profile.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Thai Red Curry Paste
  • Thai Green Curry Paste
  • Sambal Oelek
  • Massaman Curry Paste
  • Penang Curry Paste


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword best substiutes for laksa paste
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating