Friends and fans alike know I have a real soft spot for 4 a.m. Malaysian kari laksa as served by the good folks at Curry Leaves in Flushing. Recently I tried the asam laksa—a spicy sour soup enriched with fish—at Pulau Pinang. It’s a palate-jolting, head-clearing wonder of a bowl.
It’s taken me a summer cold and about 15 years to finally develop a taste for asam laksa. Now I’ve a jones to visit Malaysia and try some regional variations of the spicy noodle soup. I blame the above video from SAYS Malaysia and Air Asia. In it a diverse group of Malaysians taste an equally diverse group of laksas and attempt to identify their origins.
As you might imagine not everybody likes everything. “This smells very fishy, this smells like the ocean,” one taste tester says of the Penang Asam Laksa. “It tastes better than it smells,” quips another. The conclusion warmed my heart and made me want to travel to Malaysia more than ever. “Just like laksa we are full of flavors and really love our food.”