Vegetarian Laksa


No more take away Laksa…

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Wow! the past four weeks have been such a roller coaster. New baby, crazy hormones, house full of family. Everyday feels like a surprise test, but thank God I love a good challenge. This lets me take everyday in my stride and keep me sane. Fortunately I have been blessed with some wonderful support from my family, which allows me to make time to do things I really enjoy, cooking being one of them. Every opportunity I get I sneak into my kitchen, ransack my fridge and try to whip up some lip smackingly delicious treats for my family. I know they say mum should sleep when bubs sleeps, but this mumma here loves to cook, eat and blog!!!

Recently for dinner I craved something spicy, soupy, with oodles of flavour and packed with a truck load of veggies. After a thorough fridge and pantry inspection I found the following – Tom Yum paste, curry powder, vermicelli noodles, coconut milk and assorted vegetables. This was only going to go one way, a cruise through South East Asia with a tasty bowl of Laksa. 

Although Laksa hails from Malaysia, it is a confluence of flavours from China, Thailand and Indonesia. My recipe today has a bit of twist, instead of Laksa paste, I have used Tom Yum paste. Traditionally one would not use Tom Yum paste in a laksa! However the ingredients that go into making Tom Yum paste particularly lemongrass and galangal make this paste a good choice when making a laksa. Particularly if you are time poor or just lazy and can’t be bothered making your own laksa paste from scratch. Although if you can’t find Tom Yum paste you can use Thai red curry paste or laksa paste too!

So without further ado find the list of ingredients below and the recipe too.

Ingredients: 16   Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

  • 200 gms of hokkien noodles
  • 200 gms of vermicelli noodles
  • 450 ml of coconut milk
  • 750 ml of vegetable/chicken stock
  • One heaped tom yum paste
  • Two tablespoons of curry powder (I used Clives of India Curry Powder)
  • One teaspoon of chilli powder
  • Two medium cinnamon sticks
  • Two to three kaffir lime leaves
  • One tablespoon of palm sugar
  • One medium brown onion, sliced
  • Two tablespoons of freshly grated ginger
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Assorted vegetables (I used bok choi, carrots, mushrooms, snow peas) 
  • Salt to season
  • Three tablespoons of vegetable oil

Heat oil in a wok. Add sliced onions and cook until translucent. Now add the grated ginger, cook until aromatic.

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Add Tom Yum paste, stir well and cook until the oil surfaces on the top. Now add curry powder, chilli powder and stir well again. Cook on a low heat for another two to three minutes.

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Time to add the coconut milk and vegetable stock. Followed by cinnamon sticks, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar and lemon juice. The lemon juice was my secret twist, it cuts through the richness of coconut milk and gives the dish a great flavour. Now lower to the heat, cover the wok with a lid and simmer the gravy for 10 to 15 minutes.

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The gravy is now ready. Add the sliced vegetables, give the gravy a good stir and let it simmer for another five to seven minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender. While the gravy is simmering cook the noodles as per packet instructions.

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Your laksa is ready to serve. Place the noodles in a bowl and scoop the lip smackingly delicious gravy and vegetables on top. Garnish with fresh coriander and crispy shallots. Serve warm and enjoy the heartwarming goodness of this beautiful dish.

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