dishesandplaces

asam laksa. the rightful culinary ruler of penang

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2013 at 2:24 pm

people say the one dish to eat in penang is asam laksa. people were right.

the dish is so important, there are many competing opinions where to eat it. we had ours at a food stall at a corner along jalan penang, at the joo hooi cafe. a regular bowl for one cost around 4.5RM (P65) – it’s probably the best P65 we ever spent.Image 

the base of asam laksa is fish and tamarind, but is heavy on herbs and spices like galangal and lemongrass. so in taste it’s kind of like a cross between tom yum and sinigang. and it packs a huge wallop. in our lives we’ve had a decent sampling of tom yums and other sour and spicy soups, but this one is tops right now on the boldness scale. halfway through i needed to tissue to wipe my sweat. but it’s not just the heat – it’s the intensity of all the flavors in delicate balance. the main difference between this and the laksas many of us are more familiar with is that this one does not have coconut milk. which, i guess, makes it edgier. 

this is something we would love to replicate – once i feel i have enough audacity to try. because this is truly a most audacious dish.

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