MyKuali Penang white curry noodles

As the name implies, MyKuali’s Penang white curry noodles or “curry mee” in Hokkien, the local Chinese dialect; is a type of laksa, a popular spicy noodle soup in South East Asian cultures. Ask anyone from the region and they would probably spend hours describing how delicious the dish is.

The creator of MyKuali Penang Curry Noodles, Thomas Tang, is a Penang local that completed his tertiary studies overseas. It was that few years of Malaysian food

1044268 521874234594430 1110468146 n 1 300x200 History

Thomas Tang with the Chief Minister of Penang, Mr. Lim Guan Eng, at MyKuali’s factory.

deprivation that lead to the creation of MyKuali. Thomas wanted to reproduce Penang’s unique food signature taste in an instant packaged form and after much research and development, the product was introduced to the market in 2012 and made it possible to savour the Penang flavour anywhere, anytime.


What is Laksa?

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup from the Peranakan culture, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay elements found in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, a fusion of Chinese noodles and Southeast Asian curries. Many would agree this concoction is a “marriage made in heaven”.  As in all popular dishes, there are always partisan crowds who clearly believe their hometown version is the original and the very best. These would range from the mild “Chinese” type curries to the full blown spicy chicken curry.


The Origins of Laksa

The origin of the name “laksa” is unclear. One theory traces it back to Hindi/Persian lakhshah, referring to a type of vermicelli, which in turn may be derived from the Sanskrit lakshas (लकशस्) meaning “one hundred thousand” (lakh). It has also been suggested that “laksa” may derive from the Chinese word 辣沙 (Cantonese: [lɐ̀t.sáː]), meaning “spicy sand” due to the ground dried prawns which gives a sandy or gritty texture to the sauce. The last theory is that the name comes from the similar sounding word “dirty” in Hokkien due to its appearance.


Types of Laksa

There are two basic types of laksa: curry laksa and asam laksa. Curry laksa is a coconut curry soup with noodles, while asam laksa is a sour fish soup with noodles. Thick rice

dsc07931 1 300x206 History

Penang Curry Mee, a variation of the popular Curry Laksa in South East Asia.

noodles also known as laksa noodles are most commonly used, although thin rice vermicelli (bee hoon or mee hoon) are also common and some variants use other types.


Curry laksa

In the northern part of the Malaysia, this dish is simple called Curry Mee to differentiate it

from the spicy and tangy fish based asam laksa. Curry laksa (in many placesreferred to simply as “laksa”) is a coconut-based curry soup. The main ingredients for most versions of curry laksa include bean curd puffs, fish sticks, shrimp and cockles.  Laksa is commonly served with a spoonful of sambal chilli paste and garnished with Vietnamese coriander, or laksa leaf, which is known in Malay as daun kesum. This is usually known as curry mee in Penang rather than curry laksa, due to the different kind of noodles used (yellow mee or

IMG 1174 1 300x207 History

A famous curry mee stall in Penang

bee hoon, as opposed to the thick white laksa noodles). Curry mee in Penang also uses congealed pork blood, a delicacy to the Malaysian Chinese community.


Laksa is simply referred to or ordered at a restaurant as laksa (curry laksa) or asam laksa. By default, laksa means the standard curry laksa while asam laksa refers to the standard Penang version. If a restaurant serves a non-standard version, the restaurant will qualify the laksa by the version being sold. For example, a restaurant serving Katong laksa will list Katong laksa on the menu.


1. Winstedt, Sir Richard (Olaf), An Unabridged Malay–English Dictionary (5th ed., enlarged) (Kuala Lumpur: Marican & Sons, 1963) 2. Hutton, Wendy, Singapore Food (Marshall Cavendish, 2007) [Wendy-Hutton] 3. Spiles, Jason, Asian Food (John & Peters, 2005) 4. Terengganu government tourism – Laksam. 5. CNN Go World’s 50 most delicious foods 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-11 6. http://www.rotinrice.com/2013/09/curry-laksa/