Vegan Laksa

Laksa is a Southeast Asian soup made with coconut milk and spicy curry paste. It’s usually served with rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, or tofu. But did you know that you can make a vegan version of laksa using just a few simple ingredients? This recipe shows you how to make vegan laksa from scratch in less than 30 minutes!
Vegan Laksa pinit

About This Vegan Laksa Recipe

When the temperatures start to drop, all I want is a big bowl of hot soup. And my go-to choice is this vegan laksa. The spicy, coconut-based broth warms me up from the inside out, and the vegetables add some substance to make it a filling meal. Plus, making your own homemade laksa paste from scratch is surprisingly easy and results in a much deeper flavor than store-bought versions.

Laksa is a Peranakan spicy noodle soup that’s very popular in Southeast Asia. Peranakan culture is a mix of Indonesian, Chinese, and Malay influences. This amalgamation is also evident in laksa — where Chinese noodles come together with Southeast Asian curries, ranging from mild to fiery spicy.

If you’ve never had laksa before, it’s basically like a Southeast Asian version of ramen. The noodles are usually served in a rich and flavorful curry broth with toppings like tofu, shrimp, or hard-boiled egg.

If you’re not a meat eater, don’t worry! Vegan laksa can be just as tasty as the traditional kind — all it takes is using vegetable stock instead of chicken or seafood broth and lots of veggies.

It only takes about 30 minutes, but you can also let it simmer on low for hours to really develop its flavors.

Vegan Laksa

What You Need for This Vegan Laksa Recipe

Vegan Laksa Recipe Ingredients

Ingredient Notes

  • Chilies: I have used red chilies that I have stemmed and seeded.
  • Shallots: I like to use shallots because they have a delicate and sweet flavor with a hint of sharpness.
  • Ginger: The fresh ginger adds a slightly peppery and sweet flavor with an intense and spicy aroma.
  • Garlic: It gives a strong, spicy, and earthy taste.
  • Coriander: It is more aromatic than the more commonly used leaves and has a mix of citrusy and spicy flavors, with very distinct earthy undertones like that of celery root.
  • Lemongrass Stalks: It adds a light citrusy and lemony flavor with a hint of mintiness.
  • Cashews: It gives the paste a nutty flavor and lovely consistency.
  • Coriander Seeds: They impart a floral and sweet aroma.
  • Cumin Seeds: They work very well with chilies and have a slightly sweet, warming flavor with a nutty element.
  • Paprika: I like to use the mild version that gives a peppery taste.
  • Turmeric: It gives that unique flavor characteristic found in most curries and a great yellow color.
  • Tomato Paste: It is not a traditional ingredient for laksa, but I like to use it because it adds nuance and body to the paste.
  • Coconut Oil & Milk: It adds a lovely creaminess and an exotic flavor to the broth.
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves: These are aromatic Asian leaves with a spiced-citrus flavor.
  • Soy Sauce: It provides a balanced flavor of saltiness, sweetness, some umami, and even a little bitterness.
  • Noodles: I like to serve my laksa with rice noodles and zucchini and carrot noodles.
  • Toppings: For a delicious finishing touch, I like to add some bean sprouts, coriander leaves, freshly squeezed lime juice, and toasted sesame seeds.

Vegan Laksa

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Chilies: You may use whatever chilies you prefer, depending on how hot you want the laksa to be.
  • Red Shallots: They can be substituted with small onions.
  • Cashews: They can be replaced with macadamia.
  • Tomato Paste: It gives a great body to the paste, but it can be replaced with tamarind paste, too.
  • Soy Sauce: It can be replaced with tamari sauce.

Vegan Laksa

FAQs

How can I make zucchini and carrot noodles?

I usually make my zucchini and carrot noodles using a spiralizer, but it can also be done with a julienne peeler.

Can I make this vegan laksa ahead of time?

You may prepare the laksa paste and freeze it. The broth can be made a few days in advance too, and even the noodles can be prepared one or two days in advance. Then, when you’re ready to enjoy it, just reheat the broth and put everything together. You’ll have a hot bowl of deliciousness in no time.

Vegan Laksa

Vegan Laksa

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 35 mins

Description

This vegan laksa is full of delicious flavors and fantastic ingredients; plus, it’s really easy to make, so you’ll be able to whip it up in no time at all!

Yield: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

For the Laksa Paste:

For the Laksa:

To serve:

How To Make Vegan Laksa Step By Step

  1. Add the coriander and cumin seeds in a small pan and lightly toast them for 1-2 minutes on low heat, then set aside and allow them to cool.

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 1
  2. Once the seeds have cooled, add them to a mortar and grind them with the pestle finely.

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 2
  3. Add all the ingredients for the laksa paste, including the grounded coriander and cumin, into a blender and process for about 1 minute or until you get a fine paste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 3-1

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 3-2

  4. In a large pot, add the laksa paste and the coconut oil, stir through, and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until hot and fragrant.

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 4
  5. Add the veggie stock, coconut milk, sugar, kaffir lime leaves, and soy sauce, stir, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 5
  6. In the meantime, cook the rice noodles in another pot of boiling water as per package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and place them in a serving bowl.

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 6
  7. Make the carrot and zucchini noodles and add them to the serving bowl together with the rice noodles.

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 7-1

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 7-2

  8. Top the bowl with bean sprouts, and when the laksa broth is ready, pour 3-4 ladles on top of the noodles.

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 8
  9. Finish with some fresh coriander leaves, toasted sesame seeds, and a squeeze of fresh lime, and enjoy while hot.

    Vegan Laksa Reccipe Step 9

Note

  • I have used a blender to make the paste, but if you prefer, you can also grind everything with the mortar and pestle and enjoy the amazing fragrances.
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