So from reading the wiki I have learned that a laksa ain’t just a laksa, reading, learning, reading, learning!!!!
Laksa refers to a spicy noodle soup. There are two main categories; one is the curry laksa made with coconut milk and is totally yummy and the other is called asam and made as a sour fish soup and totally yucky (translated word for word from the wiki). I’ll give you one guess which one I prefer and have been hanging out for ever since we got to Frankfurt (Oh Thea how I miss you so!). I’m yet to find a really awesome knock you off your feet Thai place in Frankfurt (Oh Star of Siam how I miss you too!) and from what I have heard the Thai places aren’t really up to the standard we are used to in Adelaide. With only one option left I made a Laksa myself. Laksas aren’t hard, I just have never had a reason to make one as I have always been able to get my fix easily and cheaply. It all depends on the paste and the ingredients you put in. Laksa lemak is a type of laksa with a rich coconut gravy from Malaysia. Lemak is a culinary description in the Malay language which specifically refers to the presence of coconut milk which adds a distinctive richness to a dish. As the name implies, it is made with a rich, slightly sweet and strongly spiced coconut gravy. And my soup was more gravy than soup so I guess it’s more fitting than calling it a watery soup.
Like most of the meals I make, I wanted this one to last two nights for two people. So I cooked most of the items separately so they would not go all soggy sitting in soup for a day. I also prefer to use my own fried tofu as I find the shop bought stuff too soggy.
The Spice Paste
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
6 brazil nuts or cashews (I used cashews)
3-5 fresh chillies, seeded and sliced
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cm cube ginger, sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp nutmeg
|1.||Using a food processor or hand held mixer, grind the spice paste ingredients together until smooth, using a little water if necessary.|
3 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 stalk lemon grass, finely sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
2 slices galangal
200g deep fired tofu, shop bought or MYO
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup water (or remaining coconut milk if you have 2 cans of 400mls)
2/3 tsp salt
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
4-5 frozen lotus root pieces, fried (fry at the same time or after the tofu), optional
400g wheat noodles
|1.||Make the soup broth. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the ground spice paste for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, until fragrant. Stir in the lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal. Add the coconut milk, water (if using) and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 6-8 minutes. Keep the broth warm.|
|2.||If frying your own tofu, cut the block into bite size squares. Fry until golden brown and crunchy. I cook mine in a deep fryer for around 7 minutes at 180°C. |
Now cook the lotus root in the same manner, chop into bite sized pieces once cooked.
Divide the tofu and root evenly and add to the serving bowls.
If using shop bought tofu then add the tofu at the same time you add the lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal.
|3.||Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and gently lower them into the gently boiling water to boil for 30 seconds. The idea is to cook them and soften them before they go in the soup. The hot water is doing the job the soup would usually do. |
Gently lift the tomatoes out and divide them between the soup bowls, placing on top of the noodles.
If you are cooking the entire laksa in one go then you can cook the tomatoes in the soup broth by adding them after boiling at a low heat for 6-8 minutes.
|4.||Cook noodles as per the packet instructions. Divide the noodles among serving bowls.|
|5.||Ladle hot broth evenly into the soup bowls, saving some for the next night if required, covering the ingredients already in the bowl. This is a thick soup broth so don’t worry if this looks more gravy like when in the bowl instead of a watery soup.|
Some suggested Garnishes:
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced
- Celery leaves
- Lettuce leaves shredded
- Bean sprouts
- Krupuk deep-fried crackers
|Original recipe comes from: |
The Asian Vegan Kitchen: Authentic and Appetizing Dishes from a Continent of Rich Flavors
by Hema Parekh
and has been modified by Vegan Gourmet Caravan