Taken from ‘The Fresh Vegan Kitchen’ by David and Charlotte Bailey, this is an absolutely delicious meal that is healthy and hearty. Perfect for all those on a New Year health kick! Here’s what the authors have to say…
A wonderful main meal soup, laksa is a mouth-watering, highly aromatic coconut-curry both filled with noodles and, in this version, tofu puffs and an assortment of vegetables. It’s usually very spicy, designed to make you sweat (and hence keep cool) as you eat it by the roadside in the tropics, but you can moderate the chilli according to your taste and climate.
The Fresh Vegan Kitchen by David & Charlotte Bailey, published by Pavilion. Image: Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton.
200g/7oz dried rice noodles
4tbsp coconut oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
2 tbsp palm sugar
1 batch Laksa Curry Paste
400ml/14fl oz/1.75 cups of coconut milk
1 batch Laksa Vegetable stock
1-2tsp tamarin (make sure it’s gluten free)
150g/5.5oz/1 heaped cup mange tout (snow peas), cut in half
125g/4.5oz/0.5 cup baby corn, cut in half lengthways
150g/5.5oz/1 cup enoki mushrooms
2 red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
100g/3.5oz/scant ⅓ block tofu puffs or marinated tofu pieces
1 bunch fresh coriander (cilantro) plus extra to sprinkle
1 bunch of fresh Thai basil, picked
250g/9oz/1⅔ cups of cherry tomatoes, halved
a handful of crispy fried shallots
(green onions) or crispy friend Thai shallots
Large lime wedges to serve
Salt and Pepper
Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of water for about 1 hour, then drain.
In a large pan, heat the coconut oil, then add the palm sugar and Laksa Curry paste and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until it starts to brown and caramelize. Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Season with tamarin to taste, then strain.
Return the soup to the pan and bring slowly to the boil, adding the mangetout, baby corn, enoki mushrooms, red chillies and tofu puffs or pieces as it heats up. Meanwhile, take 4 large bowls and divide the soaked rice noodles, herbs and cherry tomatoes among them. As the soup comes up to the boy, reduce to a simmer, then check the seasoning and add a little more tamarin.
Pour the soup over the noodles and vegetables. Sprinkle with extra coriander leaves and crispy shallots and serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.