Laksa is the best. Fragrant, fresh broth with noodles – what’s not to love? I have been craving one all week, and so today I am sharing a pumpkin and tofu laksa which is sure to be a crowd pleaser. And what better way to use up leftover pumpkins from Halloween! The twist? I have used kelp noodles in place of a more traditional rice or egg noodle.
Kelp noodles are made from, surprise surprise, kelp! This is a sea vegetable containing loads of calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. It is also a good source of iodine which is essential for body metabolism and healthy thyroid function. The noodles themselves are made from kelp, seaweed salt and water, so they are gluten free (and almost everything else free!), but their neutral taste allows them to take on big flavours in cooking.
This particular recipe I have adapted from the amazing Jamie Oliver (I am a HUGE fan). I love that he is all about easy, fresh food; and also am so inspired by his work with promoting healthy food for kids. The man is a legend! Anyway, I love this recipe as it’s quick and easy, but I did change a few things around to suit. The secret to the speed of this recipe is the grating of the pumpkin. I hand grated mine, but you could also just run it through the food processor – much quicker! There are a lot of ingredients here, but the process is very simple, so once you have done your prep it’s pretty much done!
Vegetarian Thai Laksa
150g of firm, organic, non-GMO tofu, cut into 1 inch sized chunks
A drizzle of tamari (for the tofu)
400ml vegetable stock/broth
1/2 butternut pumpkin (butternut squash), peeled and grated or food processed
1 large clove of garlic
1cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 fresh red chilli, sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 spring onion (green onions), chopped
1/2 tsp nut butter
2 keffir lime leaves, sliced
1/2 cup fresh coriander (cilantro)
1/2 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs tamari
150g kelp noodles, rinsed (or rice noodles)
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 400g tin coconut milk, full fat (or extra to taste)
Put the cut tofu in a bowl and drizzle with enough tamari to give it a light coating. Add a light drizzle of coconut oil if you like and pop onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the oven at 180 degrees celsius (350F) for around 20 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. While this is happening, peel and then grate your pumpkin (or food process – much easier!). Add to the bubbling stock.
Next put the garlic, ginger, spring onions, chilli, turmeric, lime leaves and coriander stalks (save the leaves for garnish at the end) into the food processor or use a mortar and pestle and blitz or bash. Add the nut butter, sesame oil, and tamari and combine. Add this to the soup.
Cut the tough ends from the asparagus, chop in half and add to the pot, along with the rinsed kelp noodles. Add the coconut milk and bring back to a gentle boil.
Add a good squeeze of lime juice and then taste your laksa at this point, and see if you need to add extra salt, tamari or lime juice. You may also like to add extra coconut milk if you like a ‘soupier’ consistency. Your tofu should be baked by now, so remove from the oven and add to the pot. Serve in a bowl topped with plenty of fresh coriander leaves and use lime wedges and extra chilli to taste.
So there you have it! A delicious laksa full of good fats from the coconut milk, protein from the tofu, and bags of flavour from all the herbs and spices. x
p.s. – don’t eat your jack o’lantern pumpkin after you have been burning candles inside. 🙂