We share the ins and outs of the iconic street food that is taking the world by storm: Laksa.
Laksa mixes Malaysian seasoning with Chinese noodles. Malaysia is a big melting pot of cultures and this creates a different type of cuisine - also referred to as Prenakan cuisine. Laksa is a steaming hot, fragrant and complex flavoured broth. It is typically made with a coconut milk or tamarind base and amped up with chilli paste and aromatic herbs and spices.
There are two distinct types of Laksa. Assem Laksa which is made with a sour, fish and tamarind based broth. It is also called Penang Laksa. The other is Curry Laksa, which is a rich coconut-based curry soup and is also known as Singapore Laksa or Laksa Lemak (lemak means fatty).
Having said that, there are hundreds more regional varieties of Laksa. There is thick Laksa from Kedah, which has dried slices of tamarind and is garnished with cucumber. The rich Johor Laksa includes mackerel or herring, Indian spices and thick spaghetti like noodles. Ipoh Laksa is almost a curry, with grilled pork. Fragrant Nyonya Malacca Laksa includes lemongrass and is served with belachan (shrimp sambal).
Fat Mao in Vancouver serves a Thai Beef Laksa with beef shin, peanuts, and dried shrimp. In Berlin, neo-bistro Industry Standard created a Laksa pop-up and included a vegan version for its menu.