Laksa is ranked the 35th while Bak Kut Teh is ranked 44th on the list of 50 Best Rated Soups in the World by TasteAtlas.
Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest stories and updates.
What do you think is the best soup in Malaysia? ABC soup? Sup Tulang?
Perhaps the infamous Torpedo soup? Well, probably not everyone’s cup of tea.
Well, it turns out that our own Malaysian Laksa and Bak Kut Teh have been crowned the Top 50 best-rated soups in the world!
The list is made by TasteAtlas, a website that collects experiential travel guides to traditional food in every country in the world. They have a lot of lists for a variety of food but recently in August 2022, they updated their list of best-rated soups in the world.
Laksa ranks at 35th, behind Vietnam’s Pho
Laksa is one of the most sought-after dishes in Southeast Asia. They come in a variety of flavours and origins but the authentic ones come from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
Laksa is a type of noodle dish with rich and spicy broth that sometimes has creamy coconut milk or sour tamarind in it. It’s a dish originating from the Peranakan roots where Chinese traders fell in love with the locals in the Malay archipelago as early as the 15th century.
The marriage between the two ethnicities created a diverse community with unique cultures merging together in terms of tradition, clothing, languages and also food. When the wives of these traders began adding their own spice and flavouring to traditional Chinese soups, the Laksa was born.
The word laksa was also said to originate from the Sanskrit word laksa, meaning a hundred thousand. This here could mean the many types of ingredients used to make a laksa (honestly, it’s not an easy dish to make!). Another word this soup might come from is Laksha in Persian, which means a type of vermicelli, which is typically found in laksa.
In Malaysia specifically, there are numerous kinds of laksa according to different states. There are the ones with curry, thick white broth, spaghetti, rice noodles, yellow wheat noodles, prawn, tofu, shredded fish, crabs and honestly a myriad more.
From Assam Laksa to Laksam, check them all out here.
Bak Kut Teh stands at 44th place
Bak Kut Teh is undeniably good as some locals here claim. There’s just something about the succulent pork ribs that’s just incredible, they say.
Bak Kut Teh means meat bone tea in Hokkien and is introduced in Malaya (Klang, specifically) back in the 1940s. It is a herbal soup dish that consists of pork ribs stewed with a mixture of fragrant herbs and spices. It has a few varieties as well, as the Klang and Singapore versions are quite different.
It is said that the dish was introduced by a Hokkien man from Fujian, China to Klang when he set up a bak kut teh stall in Klang South. This dish used to be a coolies’ humble but replenishing meal. The coolies would get this as a hearty breakfast before embarking on their backbreaking tasks of the day.
There are three main versions of the soup which are the Hokkien style (dark brown broth & commonly found in Malaysia), Cantonese style (more medicinal and herbal taste), and Teochew style (clear broth & popular in Singapore). There’s also one more bonus type which is the dry bak kut teh. Found in Klang and some parts of the Klang Valley, the broth is reduced to a thicker gravy and some additional toppings are added.
There are also halal versions of the soup that are replaced with beef (beef bak kut teh) and chicken (chik kut teh) in some places. But a true blue fan says that the original Bak Kut Teh has a fattier texture that specifically comes from the pork collagen and marrow in it.
So Laksa and Bak Kut Teh made it in the global list. That would mean that they are some of the best soups in Malaysia, right?
Let us know the best Malaysian soup you’ve ever tasted. Perhaps there’s an even worthier addition to the Top 50 list!