Better be honest with you all though – while I absolutely loved this, Dave HATED it. I mean, so much he couldn’t eat it and had soup from the freezer, while I packaged up his for lunch. No idea why, as he likes all the ingredients – the only thing I thought he might be iffy about is the tofu, but he surprised me by saying “ooh, it’s nice to be having tofu for a change!” before he started eating! The best explanation he could give is something about the fresh mint and basil with the coconut milk didn’t add up to a nice taste for him.
I hope this doesn’t put you off making it. I did wonder if I should post it, given it’s only got a 50% approval rating in our house – but I genuinely loved it so much that I decided just to go for it.
As for the tofu, I’ve never cooked it at home before (only had it in restaurants) and I’m not the world’s biggest fan but do like it in some things and really just fancied a change. I did lose some of it, stuck to the pan while I was frying it so I think it’s like meat – you need to let it brown before stirring it or else it sticks. Oh and draining and pressing it beforehand is a good thing according to the packet, so I did that too.
PS this isn’t an attempt to be a very authentic laksa. It’s not even really soupy enough. The portions are quite big and it wouldn’t have fit in the bowl if there was any more liquid! I basically amalgamated ideas from a few recipes on the internet. As always, adapt veggies and such as you see fit. Oh and this is definitely a recipe to make if you have fresh herbs in your garden – basil, coriander and/or mint in large quantities to snip over the top at the end.
Tofu and Vegetable Laksa
- 100g tofu, drained
- a big handful cashew nuts (around 30g)
- bag of stirfry mix or similar quantity mixed shredded vegetables
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced on the diagonal
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- vegetable stock, to cover
- 3/4 tsp crushed dried chilli
- thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1-2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp tamarind paste (or juice of 1/2 lemon or lime)
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- Handful mint leaves, big handful coriander leaves and/or handful basil leaves (from pots on the windowsill)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 fine noodle nests
Wrap the block of tofu in kitchen roll, pop between two chopping boards, weigh down with a book and leave to press for 10 minutes or longer. When done, cube (I cut the half block into 12 pieces)
Heat half the oil to a medium heat in a large deep sided frying pan, and fry the tofu for 6-8 minutes, turning only once a brown crust has formed on the underside to avoid sticking.
Remove from the pan, top up the oil and add the stir fry mix or vegetables. Stir fry for a few minutes until cooked, then add the garlic, ginger and dried chilli, cooking for a further minute. Add the coconut milk, cashews, spring onion, soy sauce, ground coriander and tamarind, return the tofu to the pan, top up with vegetable stock and simmer until everything is combined and well cooked through.
Cook the noodle nests separately until just done, add to the soup and allow to continue cooking through in the sauce for a few more minutes. Serve in big bowls with the herbs generously snipped all over the top.