Updated: Apr 10
Laksa! What can I say, I personally love this broth as its rich hits of coconut milk and a fragrant fresh laksa paste makes the perfect foundations to a delightful broth! As the laksa broth is incredibly delicious on its own I felt a vegan version is perfect to do the broth justice. What I love most about dishes like this are that they are so versatile as to what to add to them! With all that said this is how I made my vegan laksa!
Cook time 30 mins / Prep time 30 mins
To serve 4
400ml coconut milk
200g wild mushrooms
1/2 butternut squash
5 dried shittake mushrooms
rice noodles for 4
limes to serve
bunch of coriander
1-2 tbsp palm sugar
vegan fish sauce or light soy
10-15 dry red chillis
2 whole red chilli (seeds optional)
5 small asian shallots
20g galangal or ginger
5 garlic cloves
2 lemon grass stalks
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander seeds
Laksa curry paste:
Let's start off this recipe by making a simple laksa curry paste, as far as curry pastes go I always use a mortar and pestle, however, a food processor also works...Start by roughly chopping 2 lemongrass stalks, 5 small shallots, slicing 5 garlic cloves and roughly chopping 20g of galangal or ginger. When chopped add to a pestle and mortar and pound until broken down. When ready add 2 roughly chopped red chillies, 10-15 chopped dried red chillies, 1 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp of coriander seed. Continue to pound until a rough paste is formed then set the paste to one side.
Key Ingredients and rice noodles:
2. Now that we have the laksa paste, we can move onto preparing the rest of the ingredients. To create an umami stock to add to the paste add 5 dried shiitakes into a small bowl then soak in hot water. Next remove the seeds from a butternut squash then slice into bite sized pieces. I like to leave the skin on the squash, however, feel free to peel. As for the mushrooms simply brush clean and tear into bite sized pieces also.
3. For the rice noodles simply add enough dried rice noodles for 4 to a bowl and completely submerge in hot water. Allow the noodles to soak until softened and until just about cooked. Depending on which brand of rice noodles you use will depend on whether they will need to be briefly finish in hot water.
4. Before we begin to cook wash a few herbs, beansprout and toast a few peanuts then place to one side as we will finish the dish with these. To start off the laksa we firstly want to stir fry the squash and mushrooms. Add a small drizzle of cooking oil to a pan and place onto a medium heat. Add the butternut squash first and sear on both sides until nice and golden. When seared, add the mushrooms and fry for a further 2-3 minutes to crisp, when ready place the seared squash and mushrooms to one side as we will add this to the laksa later.
5. Next wipe the pan clean then add another drizzle of cooking oil. Add the laksa paste and begin to fry the paste for 4-5 minutes until fragrant and slightly darker in colour. When ready add 400mls of coconut milk and begin to reduce to completely combine the coconut milk and paste together.
6. When the coconut milk has reduced we now want to add the stock made up from the dried shiitake mushrooms. Add all of the stock and bring the broth up to a boil. When boiling turn the heat down to a low simmer and allow the broth to slowly cook for 20-30 minutes whilst stirring occasionally.
7. When the broth is ready, we now want to add the seared squash and mushrooms into the broth to cook through. The time of which we continue to cook the broth at this point is a simple case of when the squash is cooked. When ready season the broth with 1-2 tbsps of shaved palm sugar, a pinch of salt and either some light soy or vegan friendly fish sauce. When seasoned reheat the noodles and we are ready to serve.
8. To serve add the rice noodles into bowls then pour the hot broth over the top. Lay the squash and mushrooms over the broth then top with some beansprouts, herbs and some toasted peanuts. Finish with a squeeze of lime take a deep breath and nourish...
As for which vegetables you can add to the broth then various other mushrooms, aubergine, leafy vegetables or even tofu would also work. You can adjust the heat in the broth also by adding more fresh chillies or by simply leaving the seeds in. I hope you like this recipe and peace as always!