**Images courtesy of Georgia McDermott**
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup that hails from South-East Asia. Traditionally, it uses prawn stock as a base, garlic and onion in the spice paste and wheat noodles to finish. This version is vegan, FODMAP friendly and gluten free courtesy of a few simple substitutions. p 253
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
FOR THE LAKSA PASTE:
5–6 fresh birds eye chillies, (depending on your taste for heat), seeds removed, chopped
3 sticks lemongrass, trimmed, finely grated
50 g (1 small–medium piece) galangal, peeled, finely grated
50 g (1 small–medium piece) ginger, peeled, finely grated
20 g (1 small piece) fresh turmeric, peeled, finely grated
2 teaspoons sweet paprika (optional, for colour)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
FOR THE BROTH:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5–6 spring onions, green parts only, chopped
20–30 fresh curry leaves, stalks removed
60 ml (¼ cup) vegan fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari or dark soy
1.5 litres (6 cups) water or vegan stock
400 ml can coconut milk
400 g gluten-free tofu puffs or cubed, pan-fried tofu
½ quantity (200 g) gluten-free Chinese egg noodles
100 g vermicelli noodles
1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked,
trimmed bean sprouts, to serve, 1 long red chilli, deseeded, sliced, to serve
- To make the laksa paste, use a mortar and pestle or food processor to grind the chilli, lemongrass, galangal, ginger and turmeric until smooth. Add the paprika and oil and mix to combine.
- For the broth, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Cook the spring onion greens and curry leaves, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant and softened. Add the laksa paste and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until fragrant. Add a splash of water if it sticks at any point. Add the vegan fish sauce, sugar, tamarind paste and tamari and stir to combine. Stir in the water or stock and coconut milk. Add the tofu, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes to allow flavours to infuse.
- Meanwhile, par-cook the Chinese egg noodles (1–2 minutes instead of 2– 3) following instructions on page 251. Pour boiling water over the vermicelli in a heatproof bowl and leave to soften for about 2–3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Taste and adjust broth according to your preferences. Add a little extra stock or water if necessary.
- To serve, divide noodles between serving bowls. Ladle over the hot broth
and finish with the Vietnamese mint, bean sprouts and chilli.
Leftover laksa can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. I do recommend taking the noodles out if you are using the psyllium noodles ( as they tend to disintegrate if left in the liquid for long periods.)
Traditional laksa often uses both hokkien and vermicelli noodles. I’ve used a half- batch of my Chinese egg noodles and half vermicelli to make it vegan. If you prefer you can use all vermicelli to make it vegan.
Canned coconut milk often contains gums and thickeners, so read the label before buying.
If you cant find galangal, use a little more ginger and lemongrass ( around 25 g of each) p252