It can be a bit tricky sometimes, food blogging.
During a particularly lovely bout of daydreaming about exotic places last week, I had an idea – Laksa!
I quickly researched traditional ingredients, brainstormed some changes, told my Lovebug to get his belly ready, skipped to the shops and back, and whipped up a pot with excitement.
Only… the finished product was lacking.
Oh it was okay – Food Hall standard – but life’s too short for just okay food, right? Forget those bland soups and crappy noodles – we want awesome, fresh food that makes us feel nourished and happy to be alive! Sing it with me, sista!
The next morning dawned sunny and bright and I knew what I had to do. Thankfully, when my Lovebug asked: ‘What do you want to do today?” and I replied: “Make Laksa!”, he just laughed and went along with it. He’s pretty awesome like that.
The second time (and night in a row!), the Laksa was magical. Hot, spicy, sweet, tangy and oh so satisfying.
And the best part? You can freeze the spice paste and then next time you fancy a delicious, exotic, daydream-worthy soup, you can just take the paste from the freezer, throw it into a big pot, add the rest of the ingredients, and have dinner ready in less than 15 minutes.
Take that, Food Hall. 🙂
Easy Vegan Laksa
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 tbsp Sesame Oil or more Coconut Oil
- 4 cups Vegetable Stock/Broth
- 3 1/4 cups Organic Coconut Milk
- 1 tsp Tamarind Concentrate/Paste
- 50 ml Tamari Sauce or Soy Sauce if gluten is not an issue
- 50 ml Fresh Lime Juice
- 2 cups Capsicum/Peppers any colour, cored and sliced
- 1 cup Baby Corn quartered (or any other Asian veg you prefer)
- 5 Spring Onion sliced
- 300 g Firm/Hard Tofu drained and chopped into bite-sized cubes
- 200 g Rice Noodles any kind you like
- 6 Garlic Cloves peeled and chopped
- 1 inch/2.5cm knob Ginger peeled and chopped
- 4 Red Chillies chopped (less if you don't like spicy food but the coconut milk really tames down the spiciness)
- 2 Lemongrass stems white part only, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp ground Turmeric
- 5 Kaffir Lime Leaves finely shredded (from a jar is fine if you can't find fresh)
- 1 handful of Bean Sprouts
- 1 handful of fresh Coriander Leaves chopped
- Soak noodles in a large bowl of hot water for 30 minutes to soften.
- Meanwhile, assemble all Spice Paste ingredients in a food processor and pulse/process until it forms a chunky paste.
- In a frypan over medium-high heat, shallow fry tofu in 2 tbsp Coconut Oil until just golden brown. (Don't let it cook for too long or the tofu will become too chewy. This step is optional - you can add the tofu directly to the Laksa later if you prefer but pre-cooking does give the tofu a lovely texture)
- In a large pot or frypan over medium heat, stir fry Spice Paste in Sesame Oil until fragrant (a couple of minutes).
- Add Coconut Milk and Vegetable Stock and bring to the boil.
- Add Capsicum/Peppers, Corn, Spring Onion, Tofu and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add Tamarind, Tamari and Lime Juice. Allow to simmer for another couple of minutes, then remove from heat.
- Drain noodles and divide among 4 bowls.
- Spoon Laksa over the noodles, garnish with Bean Shoots and Coriander, and enjoy!