Butternut squash and tamarind laksa with smoked tofu

  • medium
  • 6
  • 1 hour 45 minutes
Not yet rated

Anna Hansen's butternut squash laksa recipe is a beautiful example of this Malaysian classic, with punchy sweet and sour tamarind and a superbly aromatic laksa paste bringing complex, heady flavour to this noodle soup. The Vitamix blends all of the laksa paste ingredients effortlessly for a smooth, consistent finish. You can freeze any leftover paste spread between sheets of greaseproof paper for easy use in future dishes.

First published in 2017




Laksa paste (this will make more than you need, but the paste freezes well)


To serve


  • Vitamix Pro750 fitted with 2.0l low profile container


Begin by making the laksa paste. Lightly toast and finely grind the spices
Place the ground spices in the Vitamix with the remaining ingredients, select Variable 1 and then gradually increase to Variable 8, using the tamper to push the ingredients down into the blade. Let it run for 1 minute then turn the machine off. Scrape the laksa paste out into a container and weigh out 125g for this recipe. You can freeze the remaining laksa paste by spreading it between sheets of greaseproof paper
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Peel and chop the butternut squash. Roast for 20 minutes or so until cooked through and beginning to caramelise
To make the laksa, heat the coconut oil in a large pan over a moderately high heat and add the laksa paste, spices, onion, chilli and garlic. Fry until soft, fragrant and beginning to caramelise
Add the lemongrass, lime leaves, ginger, turmeric and coriander stalks and continue to fry for a further 5 minutes
Now add the tamarind, palm sugar and fish sauce. Cook until the palm sugar has dissolved then add the coconut milk. Cover with vegetable stock or water, gently simmer for 15 minutes then take off the heat and allow to cool. Remove the whole star anise and cinnamon stick and discard
Once cool enough to handle, blend in the Vitamix on Variable 8 until smooth. Add the lime juice and check the seasoning, adding more lime juice or fish sauce to taste
Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the noodles and bring back to a rapid simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes until al dente, but keep an eye on them as the pan can easily boil over. Refresh under cold water
To serve, divide the noodles between 6 bowls. Pour over piping hot laksa and then scatter on top the roast butternut squash, smoked tofu, herbs, chilli, spring onions and a wedge of lime on the side. Serve immediately

Whether you call it 'fusion', 'global' or 'basically indescribable' is beside the point; Anna Hansen's food is without a doubt fresh and adventurous - you might even call it modern.

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