I do love a good laksa. Nothing can beat the creaminess and the freshness of the soup along with the delicious noodles and fresh vegetables. And let's not forget how amazing that tofu is. It just sucks the flavours right up and melts them all over your tongue.
Don't let this long list of ingredients fool you. You probably have most of it in your cupboard.
Trust me. It's worth it.
Time: Ten minutes prep, ten minutes to cook.
Serves: The paste serves about eight. The recipe for the laksa serves two.
For the paste:
- One bunch of coriander stalks and roots (save the leaves to go on top of the soup).
- Three cloves of garlic.
- Three red chillies.
- One red onion.
- One teaspoon of cumin, ground.
- One teaspoon of ground turmeric.
- Half a teaspoon of ground cardamom.
- One teaspoon of ground fennel seed.
- Half a teaspoon ground cloves.
- One stalk of lemongrass that has had the outer layers removed, so that you are left with the soft inside flesh of the stalk.
- One Tablespoon of minced ginger.
- Half a teaspoon of salt.
- Half a cup of water.
- Handful of Thai basil leaves.
- One third of a cup of macadamias or quarter of a cup of cashews (optional for nut allergies).
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Two Tablespoons of lime juice.
Blend all of these ingredients in a food processor, scraping the sides down often so as to form a paste. You may wish to hold off with the water. I added mine a little at a time to help encourage it to mix well. It probably won't be super smooth, but that's OK. Just get it as smooth as you can.
Place it in a container and keep in the fridge. Should last about a month, if you can stop yourself eating it. Seriously, I was at it with a spoon yesterday.
For the soup itself:
- Two Tablespoons of the above paste.
- Two cups of vegetable stock.
- 250 mls of coconut cream or milk.
- As much sliced fried tofu as you like (you know, the squishy one you can buy from Asian grocery stores?).
- Two bunches of bok choy, cleaned and chopped into three or four parts.
- Four mushrooms, sliced.
- A handful of bean sprouts.
- 6 snow peas.
- Some egg-free hokkien noodles, or rice noodles if you can't find them. Prepare these to the packet instructions and set aside.
- A few slices of cucumber, sliced length ways.
- Fresh coriander.
- Soy sauce (optional).
In a sauce pan, place the paste. Add the tofu and stock and simmer for about three minutes, until the tofu is looking a little on the cooked side. Add the coconut milk and heat through. Bring to the boil and simmer for about two minutes. You don't want to cook it too long because if you do, the fats in the coconut milk will break down and it won't be so creamy.
Take two bowls. In each one, add half the bean sprouts, half of the noodles and then all the veggies on top of the noodles. Pour the soup mixture over the veggies. The heat from this soup will cook the veggies perfectly. Sprinkle with the coriander and add a splash of soy sauce.
Delicious! I have been eating this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I must confess.