“Make my own laksa paste? Pah! Why would I do that when I can buy a lovely little jars of the stuff?”
“Because those lovely little jars are now growing intelligent life inside them?”
“What? In my fridge? How many jars have I got?”
“Yes nine and they’re nearly all half full.”
“Or half empty, depending on how you look at it.”
“Don’t be cute”
“Sorry… So what do you suggest?”
“Make your own?”
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!… Oh okay.”
… And so I did, after having a bit of a word with myself (see above).
Don’t get me wrong, I like to make meals from scratch but like most people, I have a full time job and simply can’t be arsed. Make laksa paste? From scratch? On a Monday night? Pull the other one. That was, until I realised how easy and economical it was.
Firstly, I already had most of the ingredients in my cupboards and secondly, it took minimal chopping as it all goes straight in a blender anyway, brilliant!
So now I can use the free space in my fridge for more important things, such as Penguin’s and Mini Babybel’s.
Vegetable and tofu laksa
Serves 2 / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 35 mins / V Vn Df 🌶
1 tsp sunflower/vegetable oil
1 can coconut milk
250ml vegetable stock
Block of firm tofu , cubed (I use Cauldron)
200g Sugar snap peas
100g rice noodles
2 Tbs dark soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Mint leaves to serve (optional)
1/2 red chilli (seeds included)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Knob of Ginger, roughly sliced
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 4 (outer layer removed)
4 Lime leaves
1 Tbs peanut butter
28g bunch of fresh coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
TIP: If you’re short of time, swap the paste for 3 tablespoons of pre-bought laksa paste and follow the recipe from step 2.
1. Prepare the paste ingredients by peeling the garlic and roughly chop the ginger (no need to peel it). Half the chilli (seeds and all) and remove the hard outer layer of the lemon grass and chop into 4 pieces. Add to a food processor along with a tablespoon of peanut butter, half a teaspoon of turmeric, 4 limes leaves and 2 tablespoons of water. Chop the bunch of coriander (including the storks) into three parts. Add the bottom part (the storks) and the middle part to the food processor and put the top part to one side. Sprinkle generously with salt and blend for 1-2 minutes or until you have a smooth paste (should look a bit like pesto).
2. Heat 1 tsp of sunflower oil in a large cooking pot on a medium to high heat. Once hot, add the paste and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continually. Add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, dark soy sauce and the cubed tofu and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sugar snaps peas and continue to cook for a further 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions.
3. Drain the noodles before dividing into two large bowls. Spoon over the laksa and top each bowl with the remaining coriander, a few mint leaves and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy.
FYI: Eating laksa can be a messy business so if you’re wearing a white shirt then I suggest you either take it off or make yourself a bib. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
If you’ve had a go at making my laksa or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org