ISKANDAR PUTERI: Johor will gazette two signature dishes – asam pedas and laksa Johor – as heritage dishes.
State Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage committee chairman Datuk Zulkurnain Kamisan said the state government had agreed to gazette the two dishes.
He said gazetting asam pedas was like patenting the hot and spicy gravy as other states also have their own version.
“Johor’s asam pedas is different from Malacca’s but every one knows the basic ingredients which go into the dish,” he said after attending the Johor Future 2016 meeting on youth volunteerism at Bangunan Sultan Ismail in Kota Iskandar here yesterday.
As for laksa Johor, Zulkurnain said the dish used only spaghetti instead of laksa noodles.
He believed that it began being used after the late Sultan Abu Bakar visited Italy and introduced it to the Johor royal household.
“Try replacing spaghetti with yellow noodles or other types of noodles for laksa Johor, it does not taste the same as the original laksa Johor,” he said.
Apart from asam pedas and laksa Johor, he said that zapin – a traditional dance – and baju Melayu Teluk Belanga – a traditional men’s attire, would also be gazetted as Johor heritage.
Zapin, which originated from the Middle East, was brought in to the Malay Archipelago by Arab traders and missionaries.
Although both baju Melayu Teluk Belanga and baju melayu Cekak Musang originated from Johor in the 1800s, the former is more popular among Johor Malays.
The style is synonymous with Johor.
“That is what sets us apart from other states,” said Zulkurnain.