1 thumb size piece root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 lemongrass stalks, ends removed and only the softer half used
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon curry powder
a generous sprinkle of salt
2 to 3 tablespoons chilli paste (sambal oelek)
5 large dried red chillies
1 small handful coriander leaves and roots
2 generous glugs rapeseed or vegetable oil
2 (400ml) tins coconut milk
1L good quality vegetable stock
5 curry leaves
2 tablespoons palm sugar
200g vermicelli rice noodles
150g green beans, ends trimmed
150g (or 3 handfuls) spinach, washed, hard stalks removed
300g Vietnamese style puffed tofu
3 limes, quartered and juice squeezed into broth
1 handful chopped coriander to garnish
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced or left whole (optional)
2 large handfuls bean sprouts
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:40min › Ready in:1hr
Begin by making your paste. Combine the following ingredients in a large pestle and mortar and be prepared for some arm work or take the easy route and add into a food processor; shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, ground coriander, curry powder, salt, chilli paste and dried red chillies, coriander and oil. Blitz until it’s as smooth as you can get it adding in a dash more oil if needed.
Add a glug of oil to a large casserole dish or whatever you’re going to cook your laksa in followed by your paste.
Cook over a low heat for around 15 minutes ensuring you stir every now and then so it doesn't stick at all.
Add in the coconut milk and stock followed by the curry leaves and palm sugar allowing to cook over a medium heat for around 20 to 25 minutes. Taste adding more salt or palm sugar depending on flavour.
In a large mixing bowl cover your vermicelli noodles with boiling water and allow to sit for 2 minutes then drain and rinse with cold water, set to one side until you’re just about to serve.
Next prepare the green beans, rinse the spinach and chop the tofu and limes. Prepare your coriander and kaffir lime leaves to garnish and set to one side.
When you’re happy with your laksa and ready to serve simply increase the heat and add in your green beans and tofu and allow to cook for two minutes.
Add in the noodles, spinach and bean sprouts, bring the stock back to the boil and then serve.
Finish by squeezing the lime over everything, sprinkling each serving with coriander and finely sliced kaffir lime leaves for added zestiness.
Instead of 2 to 3 tablespoons chilli paste (sambal oelek) add in two red chillies instead. Adjust according to how much spice you want. The more solid style tofu works also but i’d recommend frying this up. Instead of 2 tablespoons palm sugar, you can use brown sugar or caster will work too.