Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan culture, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay elements found in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
The origin of the name “laksa” is unclear. One theory traces it back to Hindi/Persian lakhshah, referring to a type of vermicelli, which in turn may be derived from the Sanskrit lakshas (लकशस्) meaning “one hundred thousand” (lakh). It has also been suggested that “laksa” may derive from the Chinese word 辣沙 , meaning “spicy sand” due to the ground dried prawns which gives a sandy or gritty texture to the sauce. The last theory is that the name comes from the similar sounding word “dirty” in Hokkien due to its appearance.
There are two basic types of laksa: Curry Laksa and Asam Laksa. Curry laksa is a coconut curry soup with noodles, while Asam laksa is a sour fish soup with noodles. Thick rice noodles also known as laksa noodles are most commonly used, although thin rice vermicelli (bee hoon or mee hoon) are also common and some variants use other types.
- – A Burmese fish noodle soup
- – Burmese version of coconut chicken noodle soup
- – A noodle dish originally from the Shan state in Burma
- – A dish in Laos also known as Lao laksa