Laksa, a Malaysian curry noodle soup gets veganized.
Although laksa paste can be purchased premade, with a few ingredients why not make your own?
Recipe adapted from Purple Carrot.
1/4 cup cashews
14 oz package extra firm tofu, pressed, dried and cubed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 oz fresh ginger, sliced
1 shallot, peeled
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp tamari
1 zucchini, cut in 1/4 moons
6 oz mushrooms, sliced
6 oz green beans, cut into 1″ pieces
1 lime, zested
1 can coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
7 oz vermicelli rice noodles
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
Soak cashews in boiling water while preparing vegetables. Add the cashews to a blender with 1/4 cup hot tap water. Then add garlic, ginger, shallot, jalapeno, curry powder, paprika, and tamari. Blend the laksa paste until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as necessary.
Place a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Cook tofu until browned, approximately 4 minutes per side. Remove tofu from skillet set aside.
Add another 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to skillet/wok then add the laksa paste and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth and salt, bring to a simmer.
Once the curry sauce is simmering, add the green beans. Return to boil and cook 3 minutes. Add the tofu, zucchini and mushrooms, return to boil and continue to cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add the lime zest and juice from half of the lime. Stir in rice noodles. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
More Information about the recipe:
As someone in Malaysia who ate laksa the other day, I think it’s worth pointing out that this is specifically what’s referred to as curry laksa. In fact, in some parts of Malaysia such as Penang (which has a shockingly outstanding vegan food scene for Southeast Asia), it isn’t referred to as laksa at all, but rather as curry mee. They do call it curry laksa here in Kuala Lumpur, though.
The other form of laksa, and what I typically associate the word laksa with, is something called asam laksa. This version foregoes the creaminess of coconut milk and instead manages to be sour, sweet (pineapple chunks!), and spicy all at the same time. It’s incredibly unique and I recommend trying it at one of the many excellent dedicated vegan and vegetarian establishments in Penang should anyone here ever wind up there.
Do note that even if they aren’t served with meat or fish in them, neither curry laksa or asam laksa are vegan in their normal forms, as the soup base for asam laksa contains fish and the base for curry laksa contains pig’s blood. OP’s recipe looks like a good vegan version and worth trying at home!
Answers to queries:
You make the paste first in step #2. Then you cook it in the skillet/wok until fragrant, after which you add the broth and coconut milk.
If you’re only allergic to cashews you can substitute with macadamia nuts or peanuts. If you’re allergic to all nuts, substitute with sunflower seeds.
More tastier options:
- Rich breakfast recipe with cashew milk and fruits.
- Healthy non-dairy welcome drink.
- Enticing pranic energy food.
- Delicious chickpea salad dish.
- Super tasty Udon stir fry with Bok Choy and Shiitake Mushrooms!