Laksa in Sarawak
I had done a bit of research about Sarawak laksa before arriving.
Not that I was any the wiser.
Depending on who you believe, the most authentic pastes have 20, 30, 36 or even more components, among them garlic and lemongrass, as well as various spices.
It’s often said the first laksa vendor in Sarawak—a Malaysian state on the northwest coast of Borneo—was a Cantonese man who moved to Kuching from Indonesia at the end of World War II.
He gave or sold his recipe to a Cantonese lady, who may or may not have passed it to a Mr. Tan who, in the 1960s, made a fortune selling factory-made “Swallow” brand laksa paste.
None of these creation myths mention the other forms of laksa eaten in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Mr. Tan’s product—and those of the imitators which soon appeared (one called itself “Eagle,” another “Parrot”)—made preparing laksa at home a great deal quicker and less laborious.
Inevitably, it was a huge hit among Sarawakians living far from their home state.
Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Roads and Kingdoms: The Laksa Origin Debate, Borneo Edition.