Saturday, February 19, 2011

Appetite for Reduction: Curry Laksa

I've had Isa Chandra's new cookbook Appetite for Reduction for quite some time now and finally got the chance to cook from it. First up: Curry Laksa!

Curry Laksa is a popular spicy coconut curry noodle dish in Singapore and Malaysia. Laksa refers to the herb often used in Southasian cooking. It looks like a slender version of mint and is sometimes called Vietnamese mint or coriander. It can be found in Asian groceries but since not everyone has access to that, Isa replaced it with regular coriander instead.

Curry Laksa
Some things I would do differently next time I make it:
- Add less lime juice. I recommend taste testing as you add when you make it.
- Add more coconut milk. Even though that would make it less of a low fat recipe, I like my broth creamier.
- Make sure not to overcook the the bok choy! That was totally my fault because I didn't prep everything beforehand. Thank goodness I followed Isa's tip of cooking the leaf and stem separately, otherwise I'd have some mushy leaves in my soup.

If you can find the laksa herb in your local market, definitely give it a try in this recipe. And if you ever travel to Singapore, I have it on good authority that the Loving Huts there have really good vegan laksa. :-)


  1. Hey, VW!
    I've got a couple of newish cookbooks I haven't had time to cook from yet, too! Why must life be so busy all the time? Why can't we just play, eat and take naps like Bert and Belle and Josie and Tessa and Willow? :-)

    I've been wondering about Appetite for Reduction, since I love Vegan with a Vengeance but am always having to make adjustments because of our no-added-fats diet. Think this cookbook would work well for us? (Other than recipes that call for herbs found only in Asian grocery stores, that is. Not gonna happen out here!) :-(

  2. Hi Laloofah! After a quick browse through the book, it seems like Isa only suggests using oil spray sometimes when needed, and that's mentioned in the instructions, not even listed in the ingredients. Also the Asian grocery was my added suggestion, not Isa's. All her ingredients look accessible from Whole Foods if not just regular markets. :)

    I've also have a couple of cookbooks I haven't cracked open yet but am endeavoring to change that! Let's see how that goes. ;)

  3. Thanks, VW, that was really helpful!

    I can guarantee you there's no laksa herb in these parts, and it's a toss-up which is closer - a Whole Foods (6 hours away) or an Asian market (no doubt the same!)

    Good luck on your "New Cookbook Cracking" endeavor! :-) Which ones are they? Mine are "Viva Vegan" and "Color Me Vegan." At least I've made the green smoothies from "Color Me Vegan," Poor "Viva" has barely been glanced at, though I keep reading fantastic things about it on vegan blogs. I fear my time for such things is scarce and growing scarcer... way too much on my plate right now. But someday! :-)

    Big hugs to you and the Wheekers! xoxo

  4. Hi Laloo: I have Veganomicon, of which I've only made the lasagna and chickpea cutlet recipe from. Haven't cooked from "The 30-Minute Vegan" and "Vegan Fire & Spice". I also have Chef Tal's "The Conscious Cook" but the recipes are too fancy for an amateur cook like me. DH only got it because it was ranking high on Amazon at one time. I would be happy to pass it along to you if you would like to try it. :-)

    Hi Izzy!! Thanks for stopping by! :-)

  5. Mmmm Yum! I've been to Loving Huts all over Asian and they have the best food hands down!