You can tell a lot about a culture by their food, and Penang with its delectable Asam Laksa is no different. In general, Laksa is a type of spicy noodle soup that comes with numerous variations.
Sold from stalls in markets and alongside roads by food hawkers you can find Laksa just about everywhere you look. If you don’t have the time or the way to get to places like Balik Pulau and Ayer Itam you can find plenty of Laksa stalls in Georgetown and Penang Road in central Georgetown, considered one of the best places to find just about any Laksas.
Just about everyone claims to have the original recipe and you can never tell, however there are two stand out stalls you may want to check out. Two of the most popular stalls that both tourists and locals frequent are the Joo Hooi café or in an unnamed coffee shop just two doors down on Keng Kwee Street. If the locals are eating there it’s always a good sign.
When it comes to Penang food and the spicy noodle soup known as Laksa there are numerous variations of the dish, and Asam-style Laksa is just one of the many. Even among these, there are different dishes to choose from. Take a look at these Malaysian food recipes.
• Laksa: This fish based spicy soup was once listed as number 7 on the world’s most delicious foods list. The main ingredients include shredded fish (Kembung or Mackerel), finely chopped vegetables, onions, red chilies, pineapple, lettuce, cucumber, and mint. You can get the dish with thick noodles or the thin rice noodles.
• Penang Laksa: Also made with Mackerel this variation of the soup is made with tamarind which gives the soup its distinctive sour taste. Other ingredients that set this dish apart are the lemongrass, galangal, and chili.
• Perlis Laksa: This one is similar to Penang variation but its garnishing used that makes the difference. In Perlis Laksa you’ll find catfish and eel fish.
• Kedah Laksa: This one distinguishes itself by using rice to make the laksa noodle and boiled eggs.
Those are just a few of the variations of the Asam Laksa dish you’ll find in Penang, particularly in the city of Georgetown.
The Food Capital of Malaysia
Every culture has their own food they are known for and Penang is no different. Penang is an island off the west coast of Malaysia and is considered by many as the food capital of Malaysia. Boasting 740,000, the city of Georgetown in Penang is a great place to experience all things Penang. Just walk down Armenian Street or Penang Road and you’ll find an atmosphere a buzz with the sights, sounds, and smells of the Malaysian culture that is proud of their food. While you’re visiting be sure to go out at all different times in your quest for the best food in Penang. Certain dishes are only found at certain times. If your goal is to find the best Asam Laksa you’ll have to go out after two in the afternoon.