"I have long been a fan of laksa, a rich noodle soup made famous by the Nyonya cooking of Singapore and Malaysia," says Manfield. "It's something I've made ever since I first started cooking, and I tweak it every now and then for a subtle difference. The soup can be adapted to use chicken or fish stock or a combination. To make it vegetarian, use a spiced vegetable stock and double the amount of tofu. This soup is one of my defining tastes of the '90s, loved for its restorative and seductive flavour. The laksa paste and the stock can be made ahead of time, making the last-minute cooking and assembly quick and easy."