Singaporeans are no stranger to laksa.
After all, what’s better than a steaming bowl of spicy, aromatic broth laden with thick rice noodles to warm you up on a cold, rainy day? Yet, besides the coconut-flavoured broth that we’re so used to, there are so many other variants of laksa that should be explored as well.
From Curry Laksa to Sarawak Laksa and Dry Laksa, we’ve rounded the differences between four kinds of laksa variants that you can find in Singapore and where you can have them at. Read on for more.
Curry laksa/Nonya laksa
Nyonya laksa is a variant of the curry laksa that is more commonly found in Singapore. It comes with a rich coconut-based soup that is cooked with chicken bones, and/or prawn shells, and lays the foundation for thick rice vermicelli and crunchy bean sprouts.
Where to try this version, you ask? We’re not here to beat around the bush, but 328 Katong Laksa is probably the best one around, and rightfully so. This east-side favourite sports long queues daily, and a loyal customer base that keeps them busy all year round. Its soup base is delightfully creamy, and the aromatic coconut aftertaste is perfectly complemented with its spices. Don’t forget to add some blood cockles to the mix, and ready a couple of tissues for a spicy, stress-relieving experience unlike any other.
328 Katong Laksa, 51 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428770
Penang Asam Laksa
Besides curry laksa, Penang asam laksa is another variant of the dish that’s commonly found on our shores. It doesn’t contain a rich, coconut-cream soup base, and instead uses a tangy and spicy fish broth that’s packed with flavours of lemongrass, galangal and chilli. One will usually find a medley of fresh condiments like sliced cucumbers, onions, mint, pineapples, and sweet prawn paste nestled gently on top the bowl, giving the dish contrasting flavours and textures with every bite.
You’ll be able to find Penang laksa in many different establishments like D’Laska and Gurney Drive Signatures, but we’re recommending the one at Penang Kitchen for its well-balanced and consistent flavours.
Penang Kitchen, Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Rd, #03-89, Singapore 228213
Sarawak laksa is not as easily found in Singapore, but it did become a little more popular after celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain coined it ‘Breakfast of the Gods’ in 2015 on Instagram. The dish is characterised by its subtle, mild flavour: its broth is made with a combination of sambal belacan, coconut milk, tamarind, garlic, galangal, and lemongrass. Besides rice vermicelli noodles, it is then topped with peeled boiled prawns and chopped coriander leaves. If you’re wondering where to try this version of laksa, head to Sarawak Delicacy Laksa & Kolo Mee.
Sarawak Delicacy Laksa & Kolo Mee, Blk 204 Bedok North St 1 #01-435, Singapore 460204
Laksa is usually associated with a blissfully delicious broth, but dry laksas have been making their rounds in the bellies of locals here. It is usually based off recipes from the curry laksa, but the thick vermicelli noodles are then stir-fried directly with the laksa paste. You’d be able to find dry laksa options at establishments like Violet Oon, but we’re spotlighting one you can have in the comfort of your home: Jelebu Dry Laksa.
Founder and owner of Jelebu Dry Laksa, Renee Tang Eyrn, adds a fancy twist to the traditional dish by using upmarket ingredients like lobster, grilled tiger prawns and sakura ebi to the mix. There is a minimum order of S$12 for delivery, and delivery is free for orders above S$60.
Order it here.
(Hero image credit: Getty Images)