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Curry laksa with oyster mushrooms

This week I actually planned ahead – at least three meals from recipes I haven’t tried before, using some ingredients I don’t normally cook with. Tonight it’s laksa, a (typically nonvegan) Southeast Asian specialty featuring a rich curry broth with rice noodles and herbs. I followed the recipe from Vegan Eats World, so it’s probably more “inspired by” than anything, but I did make everything from scratch.

The first layer in the soup bowl is gently wilted and very roughly chopped baby bok choy flowers and tops. Very tender greens and stems. I nuked it briefly to help it cook quickly once the hot broth hit it.

Next we add rice noodles. Continuing my tendency to evade “authenticity,” I opted for some forbidden rice ramen-style noodles, which are a beautiful purple color and nice texture.

Then I added slices of pan-fried tofu. The recipe calls for tofu puffs, but I had really nice fresh tofu, so I just cooked it up so it’d at least get a bit of a ‘puffy’ crust.

Bean sprouts are a necessary last minute addition. Actually, the recipe suggested napa cabbage as an alternative, which keeps a lot better, but strangely enough, I didn’t see any at the market.

After the soup has simmered for a while, it’s ladled over all of the above. Bright yellow and rich with coconut milk and aromatics, plus the oyster mushrooms.

Topped with chopped cilantro and mint, because that makes everything better. Unless you hate cilantro, I guess.

The recipe didn’t call for it, but I added a quick squeeze of lime juice to my bowl. It’s nice and spicy and chewy and crunchy. I bet the broth will taste better tomorrow–if there’s any left…

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