Now as any regular reader know from my regular fish and steak posts (and related consumption) I am not exactly about to go vegan, but I do eat a lot of vegetarian and vegan meals by choice – I’d far rather eat more vegetable based meals a week and eat meal of a higher quality and welfare standard. Anyway, I digress. Inspired by a couple of vegan blogs I follow and also a man at my gym who regularly wears a t-shirt with the slogan “all this was built on tofu” I decided to knowingly attempt a vegan meal. Now this wasn’t easy, and I take my hat off to anybody who follows the vegan lifestyle by choice.
Now this recipe I use vegetable stock. I had no idea that some vegetable stock cubes contain fish products or egg. Fortunately mine contained neither but if I were to make this for an actual vegan I’d definitely make my stock from scratch just to be sure. I bought a Thai spice and seasoning mix from Asda containing birdseye chillies, ginger, garlic, galangal and lemongrass (far better for peace of mind than using my usual curry paste). I did use tofu, which is probably partially cheating as I’m told it shouldn’t be too much of a staple (forgive me, I’m new to this!) but next time I’ll cook something lentil based.
Anyway, enough of a foreword from me, here is what you need to make this recipe:
Rice noodles (I used vermicelli ones)
2 pints of vegetable stock
3 baby pak choi or 2 normal sized ones
5 or 6 shitake mushrooms (or any other kind you fancy)
4 spring onions
2 cloves garlic
The juice of half a lemon
2 bird eye chillis (be careful chopping them if you wear contact lenses, chillies burn!)
(This makes 3 decent sized portions or 4 smaller portions).
Chop the tofu and mushrooms up into bitesized pieces. Slice the garlic and spring onions and chilli and cut the pak choi into 1.5 inch pieces. Put the pak choi to one side, it needs less cooking than everything else.
Fry the spring onions and garlic until they are soft and fragrant.
Add the tofu and the mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Pour the stock in the pan. Crush the lemongrass, slice the chillies and add them to the pan along with a good splash of soy sauce and grated ginger. Taste the soup and if you think it needs it add more seasoning (be aware the flavour develops a little over time).
Simmer the soup for at least 15 minutes. Taste and re-season accordingly. Add the lemon juice as this freshens up the flavour. Add the noodles and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the pak choi and cook for a further minute.
Relax and eat enjoy your soup.