Malaysian cuisine is a melting pot of traditions from its Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and ethnic Bornean citizens, with heavy to light influences from Thai, Portuguese, Dutch, Arabian cuisines and British cuisines, to name a few. The condiments and spices used in cooking varies and this results in strong regional nuances.
There are two types of laksa: curry laksa and asam laksa. Curry laksa is a coconut milk curry soup with noodles, while asam laksa is a sour, most often tamarind-based, soup with noodles. I have tried to keep this vegan, (took inspiration from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More) and so did not use any of the traditional seasonings like shrimp paste. Here is my take on the classic.
FOR THE PASTE
2 tablespoons sambal oelek
100g shallots, peeled and chopped
8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
30g ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon ground lemon grass (frozen)