Blend 1 lemon grass stalk, 3 Thai chillies, 3 garlic cloves, 1 large shallot, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, 1 thumb sliced ginger, and 1 tsp ground coriander in 4 tbsp water. Refrigerate for 72 hrs. Cook paste in 4 tbsp coconut oil. Add 34 oz veggie stock, 400 ml coconut milk, 5 Kaffir lime leaves, 200 g shiitake mushrooms, 250 g tofu, pak choi, 1 tbsp tamari, and 250 g boiled noodles. Top with coriander and mint.
This is one of those recipes that looks more daunting than it actually is, although you could take a short cut by buying a ready made laksa paste.
Ready made pastes aren’t too bad, but they tend to lack the real sting and zing of the home made stuff. Whichever type you use, there will be a world of difference between this laksa, which seethes with vivid and intriguing flavors and the tubs of rich, sickly ready-made laksa you will find in most supermarkets.
Ingredients – For The Paste
- 1 lemon grass stalk – inner leaves roughly chopped
- 2–3 Thai Chillies, to taste – halved and de-seeded
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
- 1 thumb root ginger – peeled and roughly sliced
- 1 large shallot – roughly chopped
- A handful of fresh coriander – leaves and stalks roughly choppe
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
Ingredients – For The Soupy Bit
- 250g buckwheat noodles
- 250g firm tofu
- 200g shiitake mushrooms
- Pak Choi
- 4 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1.5 L veggie stock
- 400 ml coconut milk (1 tin)
- 5 Kaffir lime leaves
- Handful of fresh coriander
- 3 bushy sprigs of mint
- 1 TBSP soy sauce or tamari
- Lime wedges to serve
- Put all of the paste ingredients into a blender with 4 tablespoons of water and whiz into a slightly coarse sludge, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Refrigerate for up to 72 hours – sometimes I don’t bother and the dish still tastes fab!
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain, and rinse under cold water. Leave to one side.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat. Scrape every bit of the laksa paste into the pan and cook it for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to medium and then stir in the vegetable stock, coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves.
- Cover the pan and bring the contents to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the broth for around 15-20 minutes. Add the shiitake, pak choi, and tofu and cook them, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Then stir in the tamari or soy sauce and add the reserved noodles and continue simmering for 1-2 minutes until its piping hot.
- Divide the laksa among the serving bowls. Strew the chopped mint and coriander over each bowl and perch a wedge of lime on top to be squeezed into the broth.