Asean's best will converge at the George Town Festival next year to "compete" for bragging rights of the spicy rice vermicelli broth.
GEORGE TOWN: Laksa cooks in the Asean region will converge in Penang as part of the George Town Festival 2017 (GTF) next year, dishing up over 20 variations of the popular spicy rice vermicelli broth in a friendly competition to see who emerges as the best among all others.
GTF festival director Joe Sidek said under its Laksa of the Region (LOTR) competition, festival organisers plan to gather cooks of Malaysia’s best laksa to be pitted against those of other countries in the South-East Asia region.
“We are hoping to work with the Asean Secretariat and Asean Foundation to organise many regional themed events this year.
“The highlight could be the showcase of LOTR which at the same time, would help promote Penang as a regional food haven,” he said in a press conference with Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Komtar today.
The eighth edition of the highly successful GTF will span six weekends from July 28 to Sept 3 next year. It is largely sponsored by the Penang government, with the state committing RM4.5 million.
Widely credited as a Peranakan dish, laksa, although varying from region to region, consists of rice noodles served in a spicy or sour broth.
Its key ingredients are usually coconut milk, tamarind, Vietnamese coriander and daun kesum (mint leaf) with lashings of fish, chicken or prawns.
In 2011, CNN rated Penang’s Asam Laksa as the 7th most delicious dish in the world out of 50 others.
Joe said the LOTR competition would be held at the Penang State Museum at Macalister Road and added, “We are planning to place all the laksa (dishes) at one location, allowing people to vote the best as they wish.”