Spring laksa with rice noodles and tofu

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Vegetarian mains

Spring laksa with rice noodles and tofu

Main Serves 2 45 min
The reason for cooking the noodles separately is to stop them clouding and overpowering the stock with their starch. The heat of the stock will heat them through when tipped over at the end.

Cook's notes

Lemongrass rarely softens well if added to a dish but by giving the lemongrass a few firm smacks, the bulb splits open to reveal its fibrous heart. You can then sit it in the curry like a teabag, removing it at the end after it has infused its unique flavour.

Ingredients

  • 25g ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 sachet red Thai curry paste
  • 1 stock cube
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 150g udon noodles
  • 400g tin coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • small bunch spring onions
  • 1 courgette
  • 200g tofu
  • 10g mint
  • 20g basil
  • salt

Method

Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Peel the ginger and garlic. Deseed the chilli. Zest the lemon. Squeeze the juice from half of it and cut the other half into wedges. To make the laksa paste, blend the ginger, garlic and red chilli in a food processor with the lemon juice, sesame oil and Thai curry paste.
  • Step 2

    If you don't have a processor just finely chop the ginger, garlic and chilli before mixing together. Boil a kettle and mix the stock cube with 300ml of boiling water. Give the stick of lemongrass a few firm smacks to split the bulb end open.
  • Step 3

    Cook the noodles in the pan of boiling water for 8 minutes until just tender. Drain the noodles and cool in cold water immediately. Leave in the cold water until ready to use. While the noodles cook, put the other pan onto the heat and add the laksa paste.
  • Step 4

    Cook gently for 1 minute until it starts to smell fragrant. Add the coconut milk, 300ml of vegetable stock, soy sauce and the lemongrass stalk. Simmer very gently for 15 minutes. While it simmers, trim and finely slice half the bunch of spring onions.
  • Step 5

    Wash the courgette and peel it into long thin ribbons, turning as you go, until you reach the soft central core. Slice the ribbons lengthways into thin strips. Cut the tofu into 1cm dice.
  • Step 6

    Wash the mint and basil. Pick the leaves from the stalks. Finely slice the mint and roughly tear the basil. Taste the broth and season it with a little extra salt to your taste. Don't forget the tofu will soak up some seasoning. Add the spring onions, courgette and tofu to the laksa. Bring gently up to a simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Step 7

    This should be enough time to heat everything. Drain the noodles and divide between 2 bowls. Remove the lemongrass stalk and ladle the hot laksa broth over the noodles. Try and make sure that the tofu and courgettes are evenly divided. Garnish with the mint, basil and lemon zest. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.