Sarawak Laksa

Anthony Bourdain

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) 😉

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain

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!

9 comments to Sarawak Laksa

  • Corinne  says:

    Lucky you meeting Anthony Bourdain…and I love laksa!

    • Lila  says:

      So fun to hear that you have tried most of the SE Asian foods I have been posting. Love it that you’re an adventurous eater. I have actually met Anthony Bourdain twice and both at book signings. The second time I met him was a joint talk he did with Eric Ripert. Las Vegas is a great town for celebraties!

  • N J Magas  says:

    Indeed how lucky you are to have met him! I recognized him in the picture immediately. I used to watch his show when I lived in Canada.

    Also, that laksa looks amazing, even though I’ve never tasted it before. T-T

    • Lila  says:

      Thanks for stopping by. You should definitely try laksa if you ever have a chance. You can find a variation of it if there are SE Asian restaurants by you.

  • Nana Prah  says:

    I’d like the opportunity to taste it. It must have been exciting to meet Anthony Bourdain and take such a cozy picture with him.

    • Lila  says:

      Laksa is delicious and sometimes you can find a variation of it if there is a SE Asian restaurant by you. Mr Bourdain was a good sport-most of the people there were women so he knows that his largest demographic are women who all have a crush on him! :)

  • Pamela Hunnisett  says:

    I love your site! Your personality just exudes such a good energy! Anthony – how lucky for you! I, too, love his work! Glad to have found your site! Cheers!

    • Lila  says:

      Pamela, Thank You for the nice compliments. I have been working really hard on my website and so glad you enjoy it. Thanks so much for dropping by. :)

  • Justin Teo  says:

    Hi Lila,

    I’m pleased to inform you that Barrett’s Sarawak laksa paste is now available in KL. Please visit for more information. Cheers.

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