Sunday, February 05, 2012

Icy Cold Weather needs a warm soup: Singaporean Laksa

This recipe is a mix from different sources and I adjusted it to my own preferences of course. The spice paste is more or less based on Ottolenghi's recipe and I also referred heavily on this nice vegan recipe from Hunger Pangs. But there are endlessly more good Laksa recipes out there in the web.

A colourful novelty I introduced were however, black rice noodles:

The end result is a beautiful, spicy, and warming vegan Laksa (you can see the black rice noodles at about 5 o'clock on the picture below)

So first you have to make your spice paste:

  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a 2 cm piece of fresh ginger
  • the white bulb of one stalk lemongrass (next time I will use two of them, the taste is just too lovely)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 - 2 large red chillies (depending how hot you like it)
  • a small bunch of french cilantro (leave some for the topping)
  • half a bunch Thai basil
  • some curry powder if you want to add a distinct curry flavour

I put everything in my small electric chopper and pulsed until it became a paste. But you can as well use a mortar.

Next, take one package of rice noodles (vermicelli, black rice noodles, all kinds of rice pasta is possible) and cook the pasta according to the instructions on your package. This takes only a few minutes. Strain after cooking and put them immediately in ice cold water (otherwise they will glue together and you will have one big pasta glob - you don't want to put this into your soup).

For the broth you will need

  • 3 tablespoons oil (coconut oil, mild olive oil, sesame oil, canola  ... it really depends on you here. I used red coconut oil)
  • the spice paste from above
  • some curry leaves (fresh or dried)
  • vegetable broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 package of firm tofu, cubed, dusted in rice flour and fried
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into sticks
  • 1 cup mangetouts
  • 2 cups carrot, cut into sticks
  • lime wedges for serving
  • pepper, curry, salt, sugar to taste

In a large pot heat the oil. Add the spice mix and cook for a minute or two. Don't forget to stir since the paste shouldn't burn. Add the vegetable stock, the curry leaves and adjust with salt, pepper, and sugar. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then add the coconut milk and mix well. Don't boil it any more, the coconut milk will curdle!
While the soup simmers you had time to steam or parboil your veggies (apart from the cucumber and green onions). In fact you can add all kind of veggies. You don't have to stick to my version - but you already know this :)

You assemble the soup in your bowls. First put some noodles in the bowl, top with the veggies. Then ladle the broth on top and add the tofu cubes and cilantro on top.

Serve with lime wedges and sambal oelek and enjoy.
Don't let you put off by the rather long list of ingredients. It is actually quicker done than you think and the result is so worth it.

Today is a Sunday, so what better than sending this soup to Debbie from Kahakai Kitchen which hosts the regular event  'Souper Sundays' where you can actually add not only soups but also salads and sandwiches.

There is a similar event in Germany, which is however not restricted to a certain dish. Tobias from Tobias kocht! is hosting this event for your week-end dishes, the Kochrezepte Basar am Wochenende (Weekend Recipe Bazaar). So I'm also sending this to Tobias :)


  1. I am loving those black rice noodles--very unique. This looks like a delicious and spicy bowl of soup. Thanks for joining in Souper Sundays this week. I hope you join in again soon. ;-)



    1. Thanks Deb! if you find the black rice noodles somewhere, give them a try. They are also quite nice for Halloween; I had a nice black Pasta Salad once :)

  2. Black rice noodles is new to me! Definitely like this version of Singapore Laksa! I came by from Souper Sunday round-up.

    1. Souper Sundays are really a treasure for soup recipes, don't you think :)

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    All the recipes and post, are both very interesting :D
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    xoxoxo from Spain

    1. Hola Jana! You have a very nice blog indeed :)
      Thanks for visiting my blog.