Malaysian Coconut Noodle Soup with Smoked Tofu
5cm / 2 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 lemon grass stalks, trimmed and finely sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped*
2 shallots or 1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
Juice of half a lime
400ml / 14 oz can coconut milk
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 dried kaffir lime leaves
720ml / 24 fl oz / 3 cups hot vegetable stock
1 TBSP reduced salt soy sauce
(or tamari sauce, for a GF option)
2 tsp unrefined sugar
2 medium carrots, sliced into thin disks
1 small head of broccoli (about 300g / 10½ oz) sliced
into 16 small florets
90g / 3 oz / 1 cup mushrooms sliced
(oyster mushrooms are great in this dish)
200g / 7oz smoked tofu, cubed (e.g. Cauldron)
250g / 9oz whole wheat or brown rice noodles
Suggested Garnish (adults only)
Fresh coriander, chopped
Red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
* If serving to small children, use a mild chilli and remove both the seeds and the membrane as this is where the heat is concentrated. Alternatively, omit the chilli from the paste and add it to the soup once the children’s portions have been served.
Place the spice paste ingredients in a mini food processor along with 2-3 TBSP coconut milk and blend into a paste. (I use the bowl attachment that comes with my hand blender).
Gently cook the paste in a large, heavy-bottomed pan for a couple of minutes. Stir in the remaining coconut milk, turmeric and kaffir lime leaves, and gently simmer uncovered for five minutes or so. Add the stock, soy sauce and sugar to the pan, along with the carrots. Simmer for five minutes. Add the broccoli florets, mushrooms and tofu cubes, and simmer for a further ten minutes or so, until the broccoli is tender but retains a bite. Remove the kaffir lime leaves.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles as per the instructions on the packet. Divide the noodles between four warm bowls and spoon the soup on top. Sprinkle on the garnish, and serve immediately with chopsticks/fork and a spoon for the gravy.