Quick Cashew Coconut Laksa
One sunny day in May we were on our way to start a cycling tour in Portugal, and starving, we pulled over in a random town (no surprises there) to make lunch. What came next was the most delicious lunch we had had for a while and all made from scrappy vegetables and sad fruit on its last legs. Every time we go on tour we must eat the pantry down to bare essentials and clean out the fridge in order to leave the van for a few weeks. This curry laksa was perfect for using up many things from the fridge, pantry and fruitbowl. I used raw cashews, pomegranate arils and corinader for toppings but you could use parsley, mint, toasted almonds, Thai basil, hemp seeds, any seeds or nuts you like really for some extra flavour and crunch.
It’s a quick, bare bones recipe that’s full of flavour, and only uses one spice - the ever versatile curry powder. Perfect for #vanlife and hungry campers! If you wanted to make this more authentic to a Laksa and have more time/desire to cook, along with curry powder add some fresh lemongrass, ground or fresh ginger, coriander, cardamon and top with lots of fresh herbs and lime juice at the end.
Cashew Coconut Curry Laksa
1 clove garlic
finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons curry powder
Maldon sea salt & ground pepper to taste
dried chilli flakes (optional)
1 400gm can of coconut milk
250gm rice vermicelli, also known as cellophane, transparent or glass noodle (steeped in boiled water for 5 minutes, rinsed and drained)
2 cups of any vegetables you have on hand: carrots shredded into ribbons or julienned, asparagus spears chopped into small coins, broccoli grated or chopped into small crumbs, courgette/zucchinis, in ribbons, snow peas trimmed and sliced diagonally etc.
water or vegetable stock to thin the soup (about 1 cup)
Toppings: pomegranate arils, chopped coriander/cilantro, raw cashews
Warm some olive oil in a large saucepan. Lightly sautée onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until soft and sticky. Stir in curry powder and fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
Fry the vegetables until almost tender (2-3 mins) then add coconut milk, stock, and a pinch of salt. Simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are soft and the soup is beginning to smell like heaven.
Add water as it cooks if it needs more liquid, sometimes the vegetables will add their own as they cook down. Season to your taste here.
Divide noodles into deep soup bowls.
Pour soup liquid onto cooked noodles, add spoonfuls of the vegetables over the top,
Garnish with pomegranate arils, cashews and coriander/cilantro and serve immediately.