Cherry Tomato and Pumpkin Laksa

I love a spicy curry, particularly a Thai curry. However I have witnessed how hard it is for my vegetarian friends to go to a Thai restaurant and have a curry without either shrimp paste or fish sauce.

Enjoy a taste sensation? Then this curry is for you! It was actually my brother Ben who made it for me initially and I absolutely love it.

If you are trying to lose weight I would recommend using light coconut milk or alternatively don't use any coconut milk and add 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts to your laksa paste to add some creaminess. Alternatively you could add any other kind of milk (almond, soy, regular) and 1/2 teaspoon of coconut essence. Coconut milk/cream is made from blending coconut flesh and water. Coconut milk and light coconut milk simply have more water added to the mix and therefore are less creamy and have less fat content.

Try making your own laksa paste if you can  (*recipe at the end). That way you will know exactly what's in it and it won't have any preservatives. The paste involves a lot of ingredients but you can easily pick up all of the ingredients at Coles/Woolies (major grocer) or an Asian grocery store.

Make it Paleo: replace the noodles with zucchinnigetti (see my previous blog post about zucchini spaghetti here) and replace the tofu with vegetables such as capsicum and carrot.
What you need to serve four lucky people:
  • 600 g pumpkin (weighed with skin on), skin cut off and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 250 g tofu cut into 1cm cubes
  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 4 tbsp laksa paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce if vegetarian)
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste or puree
  • 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable stock
  • 400 mls unsweetened good quality coconut milk
  • Dried soba, ramen or rice noodles to serve 4
  • 1 lime, sliced into quarters
  • 1 handful of fresh mint and coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil
Extra topping options - thinly sliced spring onion, thinly sliced red chillies, thinly sliced cucumber, chopped pineapple.

How to cook it:

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Toss the cherry tomatoes and pumpkin in the oil and a small amount of salt and pepper, place in a single layer on the baking tray and roast for approximately 15-20 minutes or until soft.

Add the laksa paste, vegetable stock, coconut milk, tamarind paste and tofu to a saucepan and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the fish sauce (or soy sauce) and simmer for a further 2 minutes.

While the broth is simmering cook the noodles according to the packet directions. Drain the noodles and divide between four deep bowls, add the tomato and pumpkin, top with the tofu and laksa broth and garnish with bean sprouts and herbs. Serve with lime quarters and other optional toppings.

Make it Naughty: use coconut cream instead of coconut milk if you like your laksa really really creamy.

*Laksa paste recipe - makes approximately 6 tbsp
  • 2 small red onions, diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp galangal or ginger, roughly chopped
  • 6-8 red chillies, chopped
  • 4 dried chillies
  • 2 tsp roasted coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste (optional)
  • 2 tsp lime zest (= 2 limes)
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, green part only, roughly chopped (I used a jar of lemongrass)
  • 3 tbsp coriander roots, stems and leaves
  • 2 tsp shredded lime leaves (I used a jar of lime leaves)
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts (optional if not using coconut milk/cream)
Grind all of the ingredients in a mortar and pestle or blitz in a food processor.


Anonymous said...

This looks absolutely delicious! I can't wait to try your recipe, thanks for sharing it!

Tali's Tomatoes said...

It is sooo yummy! I had a look at your blog and am keen to try the eggplant recipe :-)

emma said...

i have recently started a whole 30 challenge/paleo style/clean eating diet after having very poor nutrition for years, i am a vegetarian and coming accross your blog gives me hope that i can stick to it even if it means swapping or changing ingredients to suit myself. thankyou so much! look forward to more delicious recipes!

Tali's Tomatoes said...

Hi Emma, I am glad you found my blog and some recipes that you can eat as a vegetarian and still be healthy - it is possible :-)