History of Laksa

Origins of Laksa

There are many theories about the origins of laksa.

In Indonesia, Laksa is said to have been born from the Chinese coastal settlements and the mixing of culinary cultures between Chinese merchants and the natives.

In Malaysia, Laksa is believed to have been started by Chinese immigrants in Malacca.

In Singapore, Laksa is believed to have been created after the commingling between the Peranakan people with the locals living in the country.

Types of Laksa

There are two schools of Laksa, the Curry Laksa and the Asam Laksa.

The Curry Laksa uses the rich and savoury coconut milk while the Asam Laksa uses the sour and appetising Tamarind, Gelugur or Kokum.

Both soups are usually accompanied by thick rice noodles usually known as Laksa Noodles although other versions such as thin rice vermicelli are known to be used as well.

Curry Laksa

The Curry Laksa is a coconut-based curry soup which is our signature soup base here at King’s Laksa Steamboat Buffet. The ingredients used for this version of the soup are mainly bean curd puffs, fish sticks, prawns and blood cockles.

“Curry Laksa” is a common term used in Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It is a popular local dish that is served with the noodles or just the ingredients itself.

Many eateries that serve the curry laksa dish in Singapore have been awarded the Bib Gourmand rating by Michelin Group which is known for awarding Michelin Stars to food that is of quality.

The Bib Gourmand rating recognises good food at moderate prices.

Curry Laksa variants include the following:

Laksa Lemak aka Nyonya Laksa

It is usually made with rich coconut milk and fish gravy.


Commonly found in the northern Malaysian states such as Kelatan and Kedah. It uses flat white rice noodles with rich white gravy of fish and coconut milk.

Katong Laksa

It is a type of nyonya laksa found in the Eastern part of Singapore namely Katong. The noodles are tailored to be eaten with just a single spoon.

Indonesian Curry Laksa variants –

Laksa Bogor
Laksa Cibinong
Laksa Betawi
Laksa Tangerang
Laksa Palembang
Laksa Bajar

Thai Laksa –

A prevalent dish found in the South of Thailand. It is likely to be influenced by it’s Malaysian neighbour the Laksa Lemak. Red curry paste, chicken soup and coconut milk are its ingredients and shares many common traits with the Tom Yum Goong (A world renowned homely Thai dish). Accompanied by Thai favourites like lemon grass,button mushrooms, lime juice, coriander and onions.

Asam Laksa

Asam Laksa is a sour tamarind-based fish soup. Asam is a Malay word to describe ingredients that are sourish. The main ingredients for asam laksa comprises of shredded fish, normally kembung (a small type of Mackerel) and sliced cucumbers, onions, red chillies, pineapple, laksa mint and torch ginger. Asam Laksa is accompanied by thick or thin rice noodles and toppings include shrimp paste.

The variants of Asam Laksa include:

Penang Laksa

Comes from the Pulau Pinang, It is made from ikan kembung soup and the biggest feature is the asam or tamarind which gives the soup it’s sour taste. The distinctive flavour is also created by the lemongrass, lengkuas and chili that is added to the soup. It is topped off with mint, pineapple slices, prawn paste and torch ginger flower.

Close cousin’s of Penang Laksa

Perlis Laksa
Kedah Laksa
Ipoh Laka

Combination of Curry Laksa and Asam Laksa.

Sarawak Laksa
Kelantan Laksa
Johor Laksa
Terengganu Laksa
Tambelan Laksa

Laksa Consumer Products

Laksa paste and Laksa flavoured instant noodles are available at Supermarkets.

At King’s Laksa Steamboat, we make our own laksa paste with the freshest ingredients in the market so that we can serve you the Best Laksa Steamboat Buffet in Singapore.