Thursday

Vegan Laksa

Though i would like to pretend i eat various cuisines when i eat out....in reality i am a wimp..yep! i said it. I am worried half the time..if there is meat or a meat derivative in a dish. Maybe there is chicken stock...beef stock..anchovies...fish sauce..the list is endless. I do ask the wait staff...but i am not convinced. The other thing with me is i have a very strong sense of smell. I usually can smell meat in grilled veggies...at times i smell something different in the pasta i eat..so long story short..i try to cook internationally at home...but eating out..i stick to indian...middle-eastern...and all sandwich and noodle/sushi spots..that have a vegetarian menu in place. Again...i do not eat in sandwich shop like Subway and Jimmy John's...coz they touch the meat and veggies with the same gloved hand right in front of your face...they may do the same in other restaurants too...but i can't see that...yep! i am boring...so what!! :D. This fear has actually reduced my eating out tremendously...and that is a great thing for me..as i have the tendency to pack on the pounds really quick....i personally would like to attribute it to my slow metabolism (years of yo-yo dieting)...but...i think portion control plays a role too ;)

I really love soups and esp. watery and broth based soups..where you have veggies and protein swimming in lots of liquid....but i dare not order it when i go out...coz i am pretty sure...it is made with chicken stock. So when i saw this soup in the VEG NEWS magazine last month..i jumped up and made it....it is actually a street food in Singapore...not sure if they sell the vegan version there...seriously doubt it!...but this one was yummers.






Lovely Laksa (source: veg new magazine) (note...the name was given in the magazine..not something i made up)

8 oz dried rice noodles (i used tofu noodles)
1 cup shallots chopped (i used red-onions)
1 stalk lemon-grass, white part only-crushed (i used a zest of a lime)
2 tsp. Sambaal Oelek
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. curry powder (did not use)
1 tsp. paprika (used 2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne ( used red-chilly powder instead)
1 tbls. canola oil (used coconut oil)
31/2 cups vegetable stock (used a water+ veggie bullion)
1 tbls sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 14oz can of coconut milk (i used lite coconut milk)
8 oz extra firm tofu - cubed
1 cup bean sprouts, blanched (omitted by me)
3 scallions (omitted by me)
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 bunch cilantro (none at home! )
1 cup pineapple (no way!!)
Lime wedges to serve
I also used 2 cups of assorted frozen veggies.

Method:

1. Cook noodles as per directions.

2. Make a paste of shallots,lemongrass,sambal oelek and ginger. Add to it coriander,curry powder,turmeric,paprika and cayenne pepper and make a smooth paste.

3. In a large pot...medium heat..add the oil..then add the shallot mixture from above and cook it for about 3 minutes, stirring well...adding a little stock to it..to make sure it does not burn. Then add the frozen veggies (if using)....stir it well...and add the rest of the stock.

4. Reduce the heat...add the sugar,salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes...then add the coconut milk and heat it through without letting it boil. Add the noodles and the tofu (i toasted the tofu in a pan lightly- can omit this step) and simmer for 5-7
minutes.

5. To serve...add the cucumber, scallions (if using) in a bowl. Pour the laksa over it and garnish with cilantro..pineapple (if using). Plop a lime wedge or half on the side too!!

The ingredient list is long..but it is something majority of us have it at home. The process to make this is super simple...it is delicious...personally for me..i will make it without the noodles however..or use the rice noodles mentioned in the recipe.

26 comments:

Laavanya said...

Rajitha, I can't believe you made Laksa... I've tasted the vegetarian version of it just once before in Singapore and loved it! It's very popular in Singapore (but the veg. version not easily available). I simply MUST give this a shot.
I concur with almost everything you've said on the first para.

Sreelu said...

Rajtiha, I am in the same boat I have such a hard time eating out without worring about meat in the food. Recipe looks really delish will give it a try

mitr_bayarea said...

The name itself has a nice ring to it- Vegan Laksa. I've never tried a soup adding noodles to it, thought it too much work, this looks so yummy, will try out sometime.

RJ said...

Its nice to know there's someone finicky like me. I don't like to eat at Subway and many other international cuisines for the fear of meat and by products, wait staff touching meat etc. If for some reason I have to go to these type of places, I eat salad with no dressing. My eating out is limited to Indian and occasional pizza.

Namratha said...

It looks very inviting R, I can imagine how scrumptious it must have been! I had heard of Laksa, looks yummy!

Nags said...

that looks really yummy but i havent seen it here in singapore, yet :)

Madhuram said...

That's one healthy comforting soup Rajitha. It looks very appetizing. I would love to make this, but I'm not sure about using coconut milk. Actually so far I have not used coconut milk in savory dishes. Where is tofu noodles available? It's totally new to me.

delhibelle said...

Let me first congratulate you on digging and dishing up a perfectly authentic looking Laksa, this is as close to veg laksa as one gets in Singapore/Malaysia, right down to the pineapple, which I also pick out:)
This recipe is a find!

sra said...

LOL to 1 cup pineapple (no way!!) My sentiments exactly. But in Thailand, I ate a yellow curry with pineapple in it - not too bad! Your Laksa looks really good and spicy.

Rajitha said...

laav..what a relief that it is available in singapore..i mean it stated in the book it is..but i would have no answer if anyone disputed it!!..and glad to know u feel the same about eating out....

sreelu...isn't that a kill-joy...i am forever smelling and imagining meat sauce and stock. Btw. where are you..long time no blog entry...

mitr...the rice noodles would be good here...u can omit it too if you want :)

rj...u know i used to feel i am too finicky...but i guess you will find many like us...we just need to state it out :D

nammu...it was good..i had never heard of laksa before this..u should try....

nags..when you do find it and try it outside..mine mine too and let me know if it compares to the original :)

madhuram...coconut milk is really nice in savoury dishes..just make sure it does not come to a boil. It adss creamy texture to a dish and is sorta nutty too. These tofu noodles are called 'shirtaki noodles'..they are available in health stores. i have to warn you...they are 100% vegetarian..but the broth they come in smells fishy...you have to rinse and wash them well..but it is all vegetarian for sure :)

delhibelle..thanks for saying that! i feel so happy :)..and ahh...glad u feel the same on the pineapple!!

sra..i have had pineapple in navrattan kurma and enjoy it..but i felt..noodles with pineapple would be a lil off!!

Raaga said...

looks lovely... you into health food these days kya?

Richa said...

d-lish! gotta try this, with the pineapple though ;)
i guess chicken stock is a norm when eating out, sometimes ignorance is bliss...lol

Pooja said...

this is one awesome recipe dear rajitha :)

TBC said...

Love the color of the dish. I like sambal oelek a lot and use it in so many recipes.
Never heard of this dish before. Have to go to S'pore now or come over there. ;-)
P.S.- Subway sandwiches are one of my favorite s'wiches. Whay are you spoiling it for me? I ask them to use a fresh set of gloves(I bet they think I'm weird, but who cares!) and they oblige.:D

VEGETABLE PLATTER said...

wow you make laksa .. superb .. it looks sooo mouthwatering .. I have never made it .. shall give it a try

Srivalli said...

wow..thats an yummy bowl...:)..and I can understand your sentiments on eating out..mine exactly...

Sig said...

I totally agree with you on that glove observation, it is not just mixing meat and veggies.. I have seen people handling raw and cooked meat with the same glove, and even doing some scratching, picking etc, which makes me wonder why they even bother with a glove!!!! Laksa looks lovely btw :)

zlamushka said...

Wow, Rajitha, this looks like a lot of work. Amazing job :-) I ve gotta try.
Btw. I am hosting an event dedicated to cooking from other blogs. This month, we are featuring WHat´s For Lunch Honey. SHe also has a few choco-friendly recipes, hope you can participate

Shreya said...

Laksa is something new to me, but your picture is tempting...

Rajitha said...

raaga..haan yaar...my pants were getting tight on me :D

richa..it is bliss yaar..but i have gotten gifted with knowledge ;)

pooja..thnks!

tbc..actually i have a spoiler for the gloves too..but i will not ruin it for you, since you have asked me not too..see i can be nice :)

veggieplatter...do give it a go..it is nice..

srivalli...glad you feel the same!

sig..tell me about it...the gloves are a joke and i doubt anyone even washes their hands after you know what!!...and thnks :)

zlamushka..thnks...i will definately try to join in the fun this time :)

shreya..it was new to me too...try it..it is good..

raj said...

great laksa of singapore style.
Looks great to be tried immediately.
http://www.decisioncare.org

Kumudha said...

Laksa looks so tasty! I'm going to try this dish.

Padma said...

I remember such incident when we were in NYC eating chicken s/w at mc don. A lovely Indian lady approached me and asked " Is it vegetarian" showing the s/w they ordered. I saw n assured them that it is indeed a veggie burger, n you can eat it. I can see from her face she was so relieved! Such hard times we Indian-NV eaters also face, like I ask them is it red meat or pork? So I can imagine the plight for vegans here..

Nice comfy looking soup!

Swati Raman Garg said...

hey rajitha how r u ..... this pic is so so so tempting.....too good...

Sophie said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)

Hima said...

I never heard of it before but looking great.. may want to try it.
Hey rajitha, I am hosting an event called Sunday Snacks, would appreciate if you can send in something for that.