Laksa has now entered my list of all time favourite things to eat. I just returned from Malaysia where I spent my Avurudu* week eating half of Asia. Malaysia is a great melting pot for Asian cuisine and my next blog posts will feature the different kinds of food I encountered on my holiday there.
What is Laksa?
Laksa is a noodle soup that has both Chinese and Malay influences (Peranakan** cuisine) and is popular in countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, where these has been a long historic interaction between the two communities.
There are many variations to the Laksa depending on regional tastes. Vermicelli noodles and seafood are standard among all Laksas. Chicken can also be added to a Laksa . It is popularly served in a spicy coconut gravy with prawns, fish cakes, shrimp paste (sambal), bean curd puffs and eggs. It is finally garnished with Vietnamese coriander also known as the ‘laksa leaf.’ The Laksa I had combined all the above elements and even included a cracker known as ’emping.’
From the first sip, I was blown away by the whole combination of the soup. Each bite brought something different to my mouth. It could be a prawn, or a bean curd puff or a fish cake. Then there was the noodles AND the delicious coconut gravy as well. I am a sucker for anything made in coconut milk, and this soup was heaven to me.
Not all laksa are served with coconut milk, and there is a long list of regional variations within Malaysia itself. Enough for a filling meal, wherever you decide to visit in that region, be sure to try the laksa.
Avurudu* Sri Lankan New Year
Peranakan or Nonya ** cuisine refers to food inspired by both Malay and Chinese influences.