I’ve just been reminded about this & want to make it right now!
- 250g/8¾fl oz peeled, de-seeded pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into 1cm/½in cubes
- 300g/10½oz tofu, dried with kitchen paper and cut into 4 triangles
- 200g/7¼oz creamed coconut, chopped and dissolved in 500ml/18fl oz boiling water, or 800ml/1 pint 9fl oz coconut milk
- 4 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 150g/5¼oz rice vermicelli noodles
- 150g/5¼oz beansprouts
- 1 medium tomato, cut into 8 wedges
- 5cm/2in cucumber, cut into thin strips
- 8 sprigs of coriander
- large handful of mint leaves
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- sunflower oil, for frying
For the spice paste
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 red chillies, de-seeded and coarsely chopped
- 5cm/2in fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (or more if you prefer)
- 1 small onion
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
- To make the spice paste, put all the ingredients and three tablespoons of water in a blender or spice grinder and purée until smooth (add more water if necessary). Make sure you have a good sniff of this once it’s mixed 🙂
- Put the pumpkin or squash in a saucepan, then add salt and 500ml/18fl oz water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, until the cubes are tender, but still chunky. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
- Heat 2cm/1¼in depth of sunflower oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the tofu and fry until golden and crisp all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on crumpled kitchen paper. Set aside.
- Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a saucepan, add the spice paste and fry for two minutes to release the aromas. Add the coconut liquid or coconut milk, fried tofu, soy sauce and sugar. Add the reserved pumpkin liquid. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let soak for five minutes. Drain and divide between four warmed bowls.
- Top with the beansprouts, tomatoes and cooked pumpkin or squash. Add a piece of fried tofu to each bowl.
- Ladle over the hot coconut soup, top with the cucumber, coriander, mint and spring onions, then serve.