Vegetable Laksa

March 11th, 2009

In my university days of cooking for 5 people in a ‘kitchen’ that consisted of a Baby Belling, a sink and fridge to do all my prep on; this was always a special treat. We got it from our culinary bible of the time – Cranks, a revelation of vegetarian cooking and not a bean chilli in sight.

I’ve since tweaked it a little and cut down the long of ingredients to make it something I might be able to rustle up from ingredients at home. Of course, the authenticity leaves a lot to be desired. But, what you do get is noodles cooked in an aromatic coconut milk broth, spicy with chilli and sour from lime, topped with chickpeas, stir fried vegetables and lots of coriander. A comforting and soothing bowl.


Serves 4

1 tin coconut milk
3 cloves, garlic
1 red chilli
3cm piece of ginger
1 small bunch coriander
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 litre vegetable stock
400g egg noodles
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp sunflower oil
spalsh soy sauce
200g carrots, peeled, halved and sliced
250g mushrooms (shitake work best)
2 heads pak choi, sliced
1-2 limes

  • Either blitz in a blender or finely chop the garlic, chilli, ginger and stalks of the coriander. Add to a large saucepan with the coconut milk, stock and fish sauce. Bring to the boil and take off the heat.
  • Add the noodles, stir to untangle and leave to soften in the heat with the chickpeas. Add some lime juice to taste, until you have a nice sour contrast.
  • In the meantime, heat a large wok and the sunflower oil, stir fry the mushrooms, carrots and pak choi for 5 or so mins until cooked through, finish with a splash of soy sauce.
  • To serve, heat the noodles and broth until piping hot. Spoon a nest of noodles into a shallow soup bowl and top with some of the vegetables, ladle over a generous amount of the aromatic, coconut broth and top with a lime wedge and lots of coriander.
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