Sarawak Laksa - Breakfast of Gods

On the 6th day of total lockdown in Malaysia, my friend Irene sent me homecooked laksa! Not just any laksa, but Sarawakian style laksa which is a rarity in Kuala Lumpur, and it is almost impossible to find a good one at the shops here. A little bit of home away from home does make things a little better in such difficult times. Thanks so much Irene! I took this opportunity to take some shots of the laksa with my cameras (yes I finally took them out and not use my smartphone this time).

A delicious bowl of Sarawakian home cooked Laksa!

The broth/soup is prawn based, hence freshly cooked prawns go very well with the noodle dish

Must use rice vermicelli/meehoon for this dish. No other types of noodles allowed. The rice vermicilli can absorb the soup very well. 

On the photography side of things, I realized I need a lot to work on when it comes to food styling, I am so bad at this. I guess the fact that I was already so hungry did not help, I decided to just quickly shoot the images and swallowed the whole bowl immediately after. Setup was quite simple, one light with large square softbox overhead, slightly angled. I used my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III because it was the nearest within my reach, and the batteries are still charged. I shot with M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 for the full bowl, and the close up of prawn and noodles were done with M.Zuiko 25mm F1.2 PRO instead. Color is straight out of camera, and I did very little tweak this time. Not like I am going to sell these images or anything, but gosh that laksa was delicious. 

About Sarawak Laksa.
Description taken from source here (click). 

"A typical bowl of Traditional Sarawak Laksa usually consists of rice vermicelli, omelette strips, shredded chicken, beansprouts, prawns, fresh coriander and lime. It's broth is made using a laksa paste consisting of sambal belacan, tamarind, lemongrass, herbs and spices with a little coconut milk. Hence, it has a fine balance of aromatic herbs and spices with a subtle hint of sourish and chili note and not overly rich and creamy."

A lot of misconceptions about Sarawak Laksa, especially those from West Malaysia who has not stepped foot to Borneo, or tried the authentic version of this noodle dish. Sarawak Laksa is not a curry dish. Curry noodles are different, curry is curry, and curry is not made from prawn paste. This laksa is also not prawn noodles, though it is heavily based on prawn and is served with freshly steamed prawns. Penang has very good prawn noodles, and they taste nothing alike Sarawak Laksa. I enjoy Penang's prawn noodles just as much, but it is just not the same. Also, the bastardized versions sold here in the west always made several mistakes - the broth being too sweet (not sure why they need to add sugar, the taste is supposed to be savory, not sweet), using wrong types of noodles, either with meehoon that is too thin or yellow noodles that do not absorb the soup well enough. 

Anthony Bourdain claimed Sarawak Laksa is the breakfast of Gods

Laksa is our breakfast, or brunch meal in Sarawak. Anthony Bourdain claimed it was the breakfast of Gods. I could not agree more. If you have tried it, you will agree too!

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