Laksas of Malaysia: Episode 3 (Street Food Journeys 4)

How to Cook Laksa Sarawak, Laksa Goreng, Laksa Kedah and Easy Laksa Nyonya Melaka

In the third of our four-episode web series, Laksas of Malaysia, we were thrilled to be invited by Datin Suraya Kusaidi, a friend of Masters of Malaysian Cuisine (MOMC)’s Mazna Merten, to film a segment on Laksa Sarawak. Most Laksa Sarawak recipes do not disclose how to make the laksa paste from scratch, but Datin Suraya, who’s originally from Sarawak, was happy to share her own family’s recipe for what the late Anthony Bourdain once described as the “breakfast of the gods”.  

Laksa Sarawak by Datin Suraya

I first discovered Laksa Sarawak several years ago during a short trip to Kuching; I found its rich, dark colour and intense flavour quite confronting. Subsequent to that, I had some limited exposure to other variations of the dish, mainly thanks to pre-made laksa pastes brought over to Sydney courtesy of Sarawak friends. Then I was introduced to Datin Suraya’s recipe, a lighter and more refined version that instantly became my favourite out of all the Laksa Sarawaks I’ve tried. I finally understood, thanks to Datin Suraya, why this dish is so beloved by so many.

Left to Right – Paul Gray, Mazna Merten, Jackie M, Datin Suraya Kusaidi

Baby Noah enjoying his nth bowl of Laksa Sarawak at Datin Suraya’s residence

In the same vein as MOMC Chef Johari Edrus’s reimagination of laksa in Episode 2 as noodle rolls, in this episode, MOMC Chef Bob Adnin made a laksa-inspired stir-fry by frying laksa rice noodles with typical laksa spices such as shrimp paste, dried shrimp and chilli paste to produce Laksa Goreng (fried laksa).

MOMC’s Chef Bob Adnin with his Laksa Goreng (fried laksa)

Chef Bob Adnin’s Laksa Goreng

While we were travelling through Penang, we managed to catch up with another of Mazna’s friends, Shiha Holden, who is originally from Kedah. Shiha taught us how to make laksa from her homestate, ie. Laksa Kedah (aka Laksa Utara ie. Northern Laksa). If you’ve never tried Laksa Kedah, you will recognise some similarities with Penang Asam Laksa – it’s made using fresh rice noodles and served with a sour fish broth and shredded cucumber, onion, calamansi limes and more.

Shiha Holden flanked on the left and right with MOMC@Heart’s Rosita Heilek and Mazna Merten

Garnishes and toppings for Shiha’s Laksa Kedah

Laksa Kedah by Shiha Holden

Finally, I did a segment on how to make an easy version of Laksa Nyonya Melaka – which is the same recipe as what I used for my restaurant back in the day.

All these recipes were included in our Masters of Malaysian Cuisine eMagazine which was published shortly after the series.

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Street Food Journeys: Malaysia is a web series produced in partnership with the Tourism Malaysia Australia Sydney Office.

Watch the replay here >>


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