Pronunciation: lahk-sah

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup. It is a Peranakan classic consisting rice noodles soaked in a gravy of coconut milk, spices, dried shrimp and chilli, with toppings of fresh prawns, cockles and sliced fishcake. Assam laksa is another variation of the original laksa. It has a lighter but tangier sauce. The most famous laksa in Singapore is the Katong laksa, named after the area in which it was created. The noodles in Katong laksa are cut up such that they can be slurped directly from a single soup spoon rather than needing the use of chopsticks.

No one actually knows the origin of the name 'laksa'. Some suggest that it originates from the Hindi/Persian word 'lakhshah' which refers to the type of vermicelli used. The word also sounds similar to a Chinese word which means 'spicy sand', suggesting that laksa might have been named according to the dried prawns which accounts for the sandy or gritty texture of the sauce. It also sounds similar to the Hokkien word for 'dirty' and might be named as such due to its appearance.


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