There are predominantly two common kinds of laksa in Malaysia. A curry laksa which is a coconut curry soup with noodles and the Penang Asam laksa which is a sour fish soup with noodles.
Sarawak laksa (named after the state of Sarawak in Malaysia) lies somewhere in between. The base is made from a shrimp paste called belachan and coconut milk is added to thicken and sweeten the soup.
You can buy the premade paste so you can make laksa at home and we Sarawakians are so crazy for our laksa that we have been known to transport this paste far and wide around the world.
The good news is that I found a site which decoded this recipe so you can now make Sarawak laksa paste at home without any risks involved in the illegal smuggling of food substances across international borders!
Sarawak laksa is traditionally served with bean sprouts, shrimp, shredded chicken and slivers of egg omelette. The finishing touch is a squeeze of lime juice from the kaffir lime wedges that often accompany this dish.
I met the famous chef and writer, Anthony Bourdain at a talk he gave in New Orleans in 2010. I have always been fascinated by Mr Bourdain’s writings which I attribute directly for my foray into travel and food blogging. Incidentally, Food Network and Travel Channel, I am able and willing if you’re looking for a charming, witty and fun replacement! (though admittedly with less drinking prowess) 😉
Anyways, (back to my story) when I told Mr Bourdain, I was from Sarawak, he brought up Sarawak laksa and mentioned that he had tasted it when he was in Sarawak and that it was the “best laksa ever!”
You see, I am not exaggerating about how wonderlicious Kuching food is and having someone of Mr Bourdain’s credentials reinforce this gave me such immense pleasure! Oh and meeting him was pretty darn fantastic too!