On the origins of Laksa
Heritage blog The Long and Winding Road takes a look at the origins of laksa and how a dish that was supposedly quite flavourless developed into the rich, spicy broth and noodles combination that we see today. The word laksa appears to derive from the Persian word Lakhsha, meaning “slippery” in old Persian.
Assam Laksa | By Misaochan, via Wikimedia Commons
There are many variations of the dish in the region. Penang laksa is known for its sour and spicy fish broth, Sarawak laksa is less creamy and more subtle, while in Singapore Katong Laksa, eaten with a spoon, has a thick, coconut broth.
The blog also details how laksa used to refer to the noodles, or “vermicelli”, rather than the actual dish. Seow Poh Leng, a municipal commissioner, even wrote a poem about the dish.