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Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in My thoughts | 2 comments

Luscious Laksa!

Luscious Laksa!

Adam’s mum was recently out visiting from Australia and one of the heap of fabulous gifts she brought with was a vegetarian Laksa paste. When she was out here last she had wanted to make us a Laksa, which they often eat in Australia, but couldn’t find a shrimp paste free one (if you didn’t already know, Adam is vegetarian). Laksa is, at the risk of over simplifying, an Asian spicy coconut soup which usually has rice noodle, seafood and veggies in it. I believe that there is a coconut milk free version called Asam Laksa which I am keen to try next.

The Laksa we had for dinner last night was a vegetarian Laksa with shitake mushrooms and tofu as the protein element and was delicious! I read quite a few recipes and then just winged it. The result was a creamy, spicy, goodie filled soup which was a full meal on its own. I was very happy with my addition of the shitake mushrooms, which I had bought dried and rehydrated. They added a fabulous savoury taste and their texture was great.

What I found so special about this paste was that it was a one stop paste. I didn’t need to add any other flavourants. It was simply the paste, coconut milk and water to create the perfect flavoured soup base – adding whatever ‘goodies’ I wanted to after that. That said, this paste was bought in Australia and I have not tried a local brand yet. I would be grateful to anyone who can tell me what their favourite local brand is?



Vegetarian Laksa

Serves 4

15g of dried shitake mushrooms

250ml of hot water

1 Tbsp oil

3 Tbsp vegetarian Laksa paste (I used 4 Tbsp and it was a little too hot)

400ml of coconut milk

500ml of water

2 Tbsp of fresh lemon or lime juice (optional)

1 – 2 cups of veggies of your choice cut into thin strips – I used carrot, red peppers and bean sprouts

75g of dry vermicelli rice noodles

Tofu cut into dice sized squares

Spring onions

Soak the mushrooms in the 250ml of hot water, for half an hour. Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pot and gently fry the paste for a few minutes. Add the coconut milk, water and lemon juice and bring to a light simmer. Add the mushrooms and the water they were soaking in, the veggies, the vermicelli noodles and allow that to cook for a few minutes. Once the noodles are just starting to go soft add the tofu and allow the soup to cook for a few more minutes on a very low simmer. Add the thinly sliced spring onions just before serving or as garnish.


  1. The Indonesian and Malay eating places add pre-fried tofu as well for texture. Actually my favourite laksa place is a very simple Chinese eatery in Deakin, ACT. I am such a laksa nut that I try it everywhere. Last time was in Singapore but it was VERY hot and made my nose run!I fry onions first add the paste and then the tofu. Martin says he found this recipe in the Australian Women's weekly

  2. Luckily we have lots of the paste left and will experiment with the tips you have sent us! I am actually looking forward to trying my hand at making the paste. One doesn&#39;t easily find galangal but it can be found if you know where to look. <br />Thanks again for the delicious gift!

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