Fragrant Vegan Laksa with Tofu Puffs
Ready in: 30 to 60 mins
Laksa, the iconic Malaysian spicy coconut soup, is given a vegan twist with a fragrant broth that holds pieces of puffy tofu, rice noodles and green veg. It's a hearty curry-style dish that's perfect for a taste of Southeast Asia. Recipe extracted from The Vegetarian Kitchen by Prue Leith and Peta Leith (Bluebird, £25). Photography: David Loftus
Ingredients:½ red chilli
1 green chilli
4 garlic cloves
2 shallots, roughly chopped
2.5cm piece of galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
1 lemongrass stem, trimmed
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra
200ml full-fat coconut milk
400ml vegetable stock
1 kaffir lime leaf
½ tsp each of hot curry powder and ground turmeric
a generous pinch each of salt and caster sugar
100g dried rice noodles
60g green beans, chopped
1 pak choi, sliced
40g tofu puffs, halved
1 lime, halved
a handful of coriander
- Put the chillies, garlic, shallots, galangal and lemongrass in a small food processor or spice grinder and blitz until you have a smooth paste.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over a low heat, then add the paste and fry it, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure it doesn’t burn – it should just become very aromatic.
- Add the coconut milk, 200ml of the vegetable stock, the lime leaf, curry powder, turmeric, salt and caster sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. Add the remaining vegetable stock, return it to the boil, then remove it from the heat. Pick out the lime leaf and discard it.
- Cook the rice noodles according to the instructions on the packet, then coat them in a little vegetable oil to stop them from sticking and divide them between two soup bowls.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the green beans until they are just tender. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and divide them between the two bowls. Into the same water, add the pak choi and blanch for a couple of minutes, before removing with a slotted spoon and dividing it between the bowls.
- Add the beansprouts to the water for 1-2 minutes, then drain them and divide them between the bowls.
- Return the broth to the boil, then add the tofu puffs, and keep the wok on the heat for a moment to allow them to warm through.
- Ladle the broth over the noodles and vegetables in the bowls, dividing the tofu pieces evenly between them. Garnish each bowl with half a lime and a scattering of chopped coriander, and serve.