Denise says:

  • This is an Asian inspired comfort food. It is a full meal ‘soup style, vegan, gluten free recipe that is above all totally delicious. My kind of recipe on a cold winter’s day – lunch or dinner.
  • The recipe is divided into 3, the laksa paste, the soup broth and the toppings. Typically, laksa paste contains shrimp paste for umami (or 5th taste as it’s also known). To mimic that seafoody taste, I’ve ground up some nori sheets, which adds a subtle taste of the ocean to my paste and I am really pleased with the outcome.
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour
  • Serves:  4 people


Laksa Paste
  • 3 medium shallots, sliced roughly
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part chopped (but keep the rest)
  • 20g  ginger -,sliced roughly
  • 2 fresh red chillies or dried Thai chillies soaked in boiling water (adjust to your level of heat tolerance)
  • 1 tbsp ground (approx. 1 sheet) nori (toasted seaweed used for sushi), torn into bits
  • ~
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander or 2 tsp coriander seeds (toasted and ground)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin or 1 tsp cumin seeds (toasted and ground)
  • 1 tsp sweet ground paprika
  • Broth
  • 1 litres vegetarian stock powder or cube
  • 1¼ tsp fine salt, adjust to taste
  • 400 ml full fat coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime (approx. 3 tbsp),adjust to taste
  • 1½ tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar), adjust to taste
  • Toppings
  • 200g steamed green veggies: broccoli, bok choi, spinach
  • 200g flat rice noodles, cooked
  • 250g of shop-bought baked tofu
  • 200g fresh beansprouts, cleaned and blanched
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Place all the shallots, garlic, lemongrass stalks, ginger and chilies in a food processor or chopper and process until finely shredded.
  2. Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan. Add the laksa paste and fry it off very slowly (on a low heat) for at least 10 minutes, stirring the whole time.
  3. Then add the dry spices - tumeric, coriander, cumin and paprika and continue to fry the mixture off gently, stirring regularly.
  4. Next, add in stock, 1 tsp of salt and all the lemongrass leftovers that did not go into the paste, apart from the very outer leaves and coconut milk. Simmer the soup  covered over a low heat for about 20 minutes.
  5. Fish out the lemongrass bits with a slotted spoon and discard.
  6. Taste the soup and season to taste with more salt (if needed), lime juice and a touch of sugar.
  7. Divide the greens, noodles and tofu between 4 bowls. Top with blanched sprouts and fresh coriander and pour in the soup.
*As a cheat, you could use 3-4 tbsp of shop-bought vegan Thai red curry paste instead. It won’t be quite authentic, but also delicious and way faster.