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November 02, 2008


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I love this herb, which I've known as Vietnamese Cilantro. I've only had it in restaurants in San Francisco though and haven't ever seen the plants. Hmm wonder if it would grow from seeds that I could find online? As for the Laksa, I wouldn't know if it was authentic or not, but it sounds wonderful to me!


Oh Lucy this is just too good. And with rice milk, what an interesting idea. I love laksa, crave the dish often - although all that coconut milk does often put me off. This is heavenly.

And you've reminded me - I really need to get a proper herb garden going when I'm back from holidays.


now that you have said it is like coriander I am not sure I would like it (although I thought i did) but the soup looks like soul food - Laksa is something I am craving right now - I think I need some deep slurp therapy!



Thank you for this wonderful soup recipe, and the excellent tips about herbs. I am fascinated by soups and over the last year or so have pretty much eliminated the need to use oils or butter ( not that they are bad for us, but I'm cutting back on calories ) I wonder if this soup coud be made without oil. I might add the juice of half a lemon or lime. Thank you for your wonderful blog.

Lori Lynn @ Taste With The Eyes

Oh that soup with those big beautiful leaves! We have a community close to here called Little Saigon, now I must go shop there soon and look for this herb. Thanks for all the information Lucy.

maybelles mom (feeding maybelle)

I totally believe in adaptation and subversion when it comes to playing with ingredients--so agreed authenticity be damned. I am completely with you on the fav herbs, but I would add curry leaves. We have had an embargo on them and it brings tears to my eyes to think about them.


Love this herb, we've always called it hot mint (and the one I've always thought of as laksa leaf is in fact ngo gai, or saw-leaf herb). Home-made laksa is very much a comfort food for me (and one that I haven't indulged in for ages, having three young kiddies has simplified my cooking over the last four years) - thanks for the alternative :)


I've never heard of this one, but it sure does sound heavenly ! And that soup is the perfect thing for this grey, cool day over here. I should grab my fat cloves of garlic and make some soon! :)


Thanks for introducing us to rau ram! sounds great. i'd ove to try it

Tiny Banquet

Hey hello Lucy - thanks for the good-luck wishes you left over on my blog. This soup is beautiful! Also, seems like it could cure anything short of broken limbs. I might have to make a batch for a sniffling friend.


Kalyn, even if you can track down a fresh bunch from your grocer, I'm certain that you could strike them as I did from just one sprig. Good luck and thanks, as ever, for hosting.

Kathryn, darls, get that garden planned! Rice milk is such a good idea here...can't say it's entirely mine though as I saw it used in a recipe in Waitrose Illustrated a few years ago. Much yummier than soy milk, particularly here where you want light and lovely.

Johanna, it's hard to pin down, flavour-wise, isn't it? It's not quite any of those things up there, but I just don't think you'd fall head over heels for it if you despised coriander. Glad you like it!

Welcome Yellowhammer and yes, it could very easily be made without that extra oil...I think...I used to do a stir-frying technique whereby I used water or stock to 'fry' the onions, and that would work here, too. There would be enough moisture in the curry paste to negate needing to add too much liquid at the beginning of things, I should think. Good luck!

Lori Lynn, do try and track it down. Nothing quite like it, I'm afraid. Beautiful in summery salad mixtures, used as you would any baby salad leaf.

No curry leaves? Maybelle's Mom....I'm devastated for you. They can't be replicated...hey, what about growing some? Any chance of that happening, I wonder?

Hi Jo, it's a fiery dish for little palates, no? Save it for yourself, I say!! The older I get, the more this set of South East Asian flavours becomes my comfort food too. Lovely of you to drop by!

Riki, there's nothin' like fat cloves of garlic to drive the grey of autumn away. That and chilli, which blasts every sniffle off...

Maninas, I wish you luck finding it. Not too hard if you have an Asian Grocery in your neighbourhood.

Well, hello Tiny Banquet - I am wearing my lucky undergarments as I type. I felt sick as the proverbial dog before I scoffed a long bowl this and was, as my grandmother would say, 'right as rain' within two hours. Medicine for the soul.

Ganga VegeYum

Aloha, Lucy. I am on the garden island of Kauai. I have something for you - can you email me?



I love rau ram and the soup! Both are so lovely...

In Vietnam we use rau ram in a lot if dish. My fav is in the slightly sour clam soup. Perfect for summer!


Ah. I need a bowl of therapy. And exercise three times a week. Thanks for the reminder!


i stumbled upon your blog through the lovely Rachel. it's a beautiful site. i absolutely love laksa and have tried rau ram surprisingly, in Pakistan- a friend is married to a Malaysian lady who grows it there. your recipe is lovely- it would be nice to know you make your 'delectable stock, too.' best wishes, shayma


Hi shayma, and welcome. Isn't Rachel a star? Glad you know rau ram - it's such an interesting flavour. For the stock recipe, just click on the words chicken stock in the first sentence beneath the recipe header. The words are in blue, which means I've a link to the recipe in another post - hope you enjoy it!

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