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Asam Laksa – Street Food to Culinary Cuisine

asam laksaPeople who frequently travel worry a lot of things when it comes to budgeting and food should be the least of it. People often look for areas or hubs where food are delicious and at the same time budget friendly for travelers who do not usually bring loads of money due to safety reasons. Also, those areas must be accessible to their accommodation so as to easily travel anytime you feel like eating. Hotel restaurants are by far the most accessible but they are also by far the most expensive. If you are traveling on a budget, eating at hotel restaurants may not be a good idea. Apple Hotel is one of the best accommodations you can find when you travel to Malaysia as there are lots of food stalls you can find very near the hotel. Most food stalls serve authentic Malaysian dishes that will complete your vacation to the country. Asam Laksa is one of the many Malaysian dishes you can find served in food stalls surrounding Apple Hotel. This is one dish very popular in the country due to its spicy flavor yet with a sour kick. Smelling its fragrant aroma makes you salivate even more.

Asam Laksa is a fish-based soup that has a sour taste with a spicy tinged. Asam is the Malay term for tamarind which gives the broth or the soup-base of the Asam Laksa the sourness. The dish is mainly composed of shredded fish usually from mackerel, a combination of sliced and diced vegetables including onions, pineapple, cucumber, lettuce, red chilies, common mint and Vietnamese mint, and ginger buds. It is usually served in combination with thick rice noodles or thin noodles. It is then served with a small portion of sweet yet spicy shrimp paste on top. This dish is made popular by hawker vendors in the streets of Penang in Malaysia that has put Penang into the culinary map. Indeed, this dish made Malaysian cuisine popular and set people’s mouths upon hearing the words “Asam Laksa” water like a broken faucet.

The original Asam Laksa has many varieties but the most popular one came from Penang. It also uses tamarind and all the aforementioned ingredients but the main distinguishing factor of the Penang dish against all other varieties is the use of torch ginger flower in combination with sweet prawn paste. Laksa Perlis is yet another variety of this dish but differs in the type of fish used as with this dish, cooks use catfish or eel instead of mackerel as with the Penang version. If you are more adventurous with your taste buds try eating the one with eel. Kedah Laksa is the third version only that instead of using sweet prawn paste, the dish is garnished with slices of boiled egg.

People say that if something has many varieties and names it symbolizes how much that something means to the people and most especially to the nation. Asam Laksa has evolved from being a hawker food to a culinary cuisine found by many to be delicious and flavorful. Truly, this dish is a must try when you visit Malaysia.