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Laksa variants in South East Asia

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Laksa – A popular spicy soup noodle that is well-known to Indonesians, Malaysians and Singaporeans. While the origins of this dish and its name are subject to debate, its popularity in the three countries is not.

Yet, depending on where you order it, you will likely get a laksa dish different from the other two countries. Although they all bear the same name, there are regional variants on the same dish.

Curry Laksa

Curry Laksa
By Tiberiu Ana
http://www.flickr.com/photos/txberiu/6998436278
Curry Laksa is the most common type of laksa found in Singapore and some states of Malaysia.

A curry laksa is made with coconut milk and resembles a curry soup. Having a blender like the Electrolux Powermix Silent to create this laksa variant is handy, since you’ll need to mix fresh turmeric, galangal (a type of ginger), red chilies , candlenuts, belachan shrimp paste, onions, lemongrass and coriander into a paste that is then fried and used for the soup base. The Electrolux Powermix Silent’s four-wing serrated blade is designed to thoroughly grind and mix foods evenly with smooth results.

This is the laksa most commonly found in Singapore, although it can also be found in some Malaysian states under different names, such as curry mee in Penang or Laksam in Kelantan and Terengganu.

Asam Laksa

Penang Laksa
By jonolist
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonolist/2513306469
Asam Laksa uses fish stock and is most commonly associated with the Malaysian state of Penang.

An asam laksa made with fish stock, contains no coconut milk and tastes sour due to the use of tamarind in it. A blender is also handy with this version since it calls for chilies, shallots, lemongrass and belacan to be ground together, but the key difference is the preparation of the soup by boiling a fish in water and straining the resulting stock. An Electrolux Brio cooking hob will not only cut boiling times by up to a third, but is precise enough to be instantaneously lowered to a controlled simmer for continuous extraction of flavour from the fish.

This version tends to be associated with the Malaysian state of Penang, while those found in Kedah and Ipoh have slight variations.

Combinations

Then there are laksa variants which are a combination of both asam and curry laksa. Laksa in Indonesia is distinguished by its thick coconut milk-based soup, which can also contain fish, fishcake or shrimp paste. Bogor laksa from Jakarta, arguably the most famous variant in Indonesia, is served with rice vermicelli, ketupat (glutinous rice cake) and oncom, a cake-like food made from soybeans.

Laksa Bogor
By Adhard
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27002971
Laksa Bogor hails from Jakarta in Indonesia, and is made with a coconut soup base containing shrimp paste.

Other popular versions of Indonesia laksa include Palembang laksa, which uses a coconut milk-based soup with fishcake, shrimp broth and spices, Betawi laksa, which is prepared with dried small shrimp and Banjar laksa, which uses the snakehead fish as one of its ingredients.

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