Mildly spicy vegan laksa with a creamy coconut base, thick noodles and fried tofu topping is a delicious seasonal all-rounder.
Growing up in Darwin with its proximity to Indonesia, South East Asian culture was a strong influence. I studied Indonesian culture and language for three years to become proficient in writing and speaking the language. My language skills are no longer with me but there’s no doubt where my love of spicy food came from.
Everything you need to make vegan laksa you’ll be able to find in the major supermarket chains. I prefer to get my fresh fruit and veg from a market or grocer and only rely on supermarket veg in a pinch. The quality of market-fresh produce will really make any dish sing. Market produce will last also last much longer than supermarket produce, making it a money saver as well as taste maker.
The aroma of the laksa paste ingredients hits immediately as you begin to blend them. A high powered food processer or blender will make light work of this. I’ve prepared the paste ingredients by hand, such has been the determination to make laksa. The paste can be made a day or two ahead as a time saver. Blend to a fine or rustic texture, whichever is your preference.
Fried tofu pieces are my favourite laksa topping. It’s worth the extra step to do this, if you can. Laksa-soaked tofu is something else.
- 1 Large Shallow Pan with lid
- Food Processor, Chopper or Blender
- 2 Lemongrass Stalks outers removed and roughly chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves peeled and roughly chopper
- 3 Medium Shallots peeled and roughly sliced
- 40 grams Fresh Ginger peeled and roughly sliced
- 4 Red Chillis sliced, adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon Nori
- 2 tablespoon Oil for frying
- 1 teaspoon Ground Tumeric
- 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
- 5 cups Vegetable Stock
- 1½ teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- 400 ml Coconut Milk
- ½ Lime juiced
- 1½ teaspoon Palm Sugar finely grated, adjust to taste
- 200 grams Thick or Flat Rice Noodles cooked to packet instructions
- 400 grams Firm Tofu
- 2 tablespoons Corn Flour
- White Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- 200 fresh Bean Sprouts blanched
- Steamed green veggies bok choy, broccolini
- Peanuts fresh or lightly toasted
- Wrap tofu in a clean cloth weighted down with a heavy item to remove moisture and set aside.400 grams Firm Tofu
- Set aside the spices and place all remaining ingredients in the food chopper. Process until finely shredded. If using a blender, a dash of water may need to be added.2 Lemongrass Stalks, 4 Garlic Cloves, 3 Medium Shallots, 40 grams Fresh Ginger, 4 Red Chillis, 1 tablespoon Nori
- Heat oil in the pan and add the laksa paste from the processor. Cook on a medium low heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly.2 tablespoon Oil
- Add the spices to the paste in the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly.1 teaspoon Ground Tumeric, 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander, ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin, 1 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
- Add the vegetable stock and salt, reduce heat to gentle simmer and cook with lid on for around 30 minutes.5 cups Vegetable Stock, 1½ teaspoon Salt
- Add the coconut milk, lime juice and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings as required.400 ml Coconut Milk, ½ Lime, 1½ teaspoon Palm Sugar
- Prepare the tofu by add 2 – 3 heaped tablespoons of cornflour, a shake or two or white pepper and some salt to a bowl. Remove the tofu from the cloth and slice into pieces. Coat tofu in cornflour mixture. Shallow or air fry the tofu pieces until lightly golden and set aside.
- Cook noodles to packet instructions.200 grams Thick or Flat Rice Noodles
Assemble the Laksa
- Place a portion of noodles and greens between each bowl. Slowly pour or ladle over the laksa broth. Top with bean sprouts, fried tofu, coriander, peanuts and extra chilli.