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Oct 5, 2010 07:31 PM

ISO Laksa Paste-Available Locally

Looking for suggestions for tasty Laksa paste available locally-which is why this post is here not on the main board.

Please don't tell me to 'try such and such a store'-I know the stores but haven't the patience or budget to try each and every brand on the shelves


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    1. re: fmed

      Can you tell me which store carries the Prima Taste brand? Thanks.

      Prima Taste Restaurant
      570 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6B2B7, CA

        1. re: fmed

          not all T & T carry the same products.
          last i checked i didnt see them there. last prima taste i purchased iirc was at choices on west 4th. it was around 9-12 bucks each. = not great value.
          i havent seen the prima taste product in my recent trips.

          to date i've seen half a dozen packaging for curry laksa. most are just the 'paste'. they are priced betwenn 2.49-4.99. most of them are in richmond. i was at the grocery store besides happy date in richmond and saw a reasonable selection of ethnic asian products. including a rojak mix.

          many stalls make their laksa broth with a herb/spice sachet(similar to a bouquet garni) pouch. that they flavor with chillies etc. . then add the coconut milk. some versions will add evaporated milk.

          1. re: betterthanbourdain

            I found that Prima Taste had the best "all-in-one" paste. I have seen it at T&T or Osaka in Richmond. I'll have a look again to make sure.

            Usually I would buy any old paste and augment it with fresh herbs (laksa, mint, lime leaf, etc), galangal, and lemongrass. Season to taste with fish sauce and/or toasted belachan if you have it.

            I augment fresh ingredients with any paste that I buy.

            1. re: fmed

              great idea. i do like the flavors you can add to the laksa paste. more akin to Bo's laksa. which is more sino thai laksa(laksa siam). i dont believe there is a one defacto great laksa broth. but instead enjoy the distinctiveness of each laksa on its own merit. therefore i dont like clouding the flavours by adding more to create a smargasboard of spice and herbs. the best laksa broth are often simpler. where the balance comes with the interplay of the ratio of ingredients. as oppose to the addition of more flavoring agents. like the candlenut has very subtle flavors but i think adds amazing depth to the broth and would be lost with the addition of more pronounced flavors. the more ingredients the more experiment and experience you would need to strike a good balance. although i love complex flavors, there are so many kinds of laksa and there is always one that can best reflect my current craving.

              noticed that wiki has updated it's laksa content. it is a little more thorough and up to date, imho. mentioning katong laksa, thai laksa, laksam(pronounced lakseh in Kelantan) and indonesian laksa. Lakseh certainly is the most interesting noodle of the bunch. Eating it off a banana leaf with some fresh herbs(ulam) and with your hands. Fmed i think you would enjoy eating ulam given your penchant for fresh viet herbs like rau ram and banana flowers.

              i still have a problem with the description of the noodle being used at vermicelli esp thin bee hoon as common. In actual fact the noodle i think they are describing is more like lai fun noodles. And perhaps the de facto noodle used in curry laksa, curry mee etc is an egg noodle thicker than chowmein noodle but thinner than shanghai noodles. It is eggy in flavor. the laifun type is the ones used in assam laksa.

              the sambal(belacan based) and kalamansi juice would be the kicker that would make any curry laksa better, no doubt. darn it if i cant find time to some laksa for dinner. :-P

              1. re: betterthanbourdain

                Had a peak @ the Wikipedia Laksa page-people have been busy!

                All kinds of great detailed info.

                FWIW-gimme a decent Mee over any other kind of noodle.

        2. re: miss.foodie

          prima taste has a few products. i remember the local distributor had a booth at the food show about 4 years ago. they had cambodian, thai, burmese, malaysian bottled and packaged products.
          prima tasts has ba kut teh, curry laksa, chilli crab, rendang, curry chicken, char kway teow, prawn mee, hainamese chicken rice etc etc. from my trip to the stores. NONE of them will carry all the prima taste products. maybe 3-6 of the prima taste items, depending on what they think will sell.
          only the curry laksa(with a small pouch of dried shredded curry leaves) and hanainamese chicken rice i found to be worthwhile.

          1. re: betterthanbourdain

            Ran across an intriguing line of Laksa and other pastes (no flashy packaging just made in Singapore) @ Sieu Thi Wong Xin Market 747 Gore St., 604-688-8235

            Haven't tried them yet but they did have the Kecap Manis I was after (it's run out all over town apparently) and an excellent selection of different herbs.

            Well worth a stop if you're in the 'hood.

            1. re: Sam Salmon

              Sam - if you are ever out in Surrey, check out Hen Long. (It really is worth the trip).

              1. re: fmed

                They're also starting to stock a lot of this stuff at Chong Lee on Victoria Drive between 47th and 48th Ave.

                1. re: flowbee

                  Finally tried the Tungsan paste as featured in Fmed's photo last night-outstanding product and very reasonably priced.

                  Picked it up from the friendly folks @ Sieu Thi Wong Xin Market 747 Gore St. I think I spotted it @ Chua A Asia Market
                  265 East Hastings Street as well.

                  Chua A Asia Market
                  265E Hastings St E, Vancouver, BC V6A1P2, CA