- Scientific name: Persicaria odorata
- English: laksa leaves, Vietnamese coriander
- Bahasa melayu: daun kesom, daun laksa
- Tiếng Việt: rau răm
- Thai: pak pai (ผักไผ่)
- Laos: pak paeo (ຜັກແພວ)
An important element in Vietnamese cuisine, in Singapore laksa leaves are primarily used in the spicy curry noodles soup called Laksa. For some strange reason, the herb is not used in Indonesian nor Thai cuisines.
How to grow laksa leaves?
They grow really easily indoors and outdoors, depending on your climate conditions and the amount of light and humidity you have at home. In the tropical Southeast Asia, you can find daun kesom/laksa plants growing wild by streams and rivers. They like really wet soil.
In temperate climate like mine in Northwestern Europe, they survive well indoors. I grow them in a pot with holes, placed in a larger pot, so that there is always some water soaking its roots. They do well on the window sill where they get as much sun as possible. Note that your window sill has to be double- or triple-glazed so that the cold air does not get to them. Also, your indoor conditions need to be humid – the plant cannot be close to any heating unit, as the leaves dry up very quickly.
To propagate the daun kesom/laksa plant, just put a mature branch into a vase of water and let the roots grow over 4 to 6 weeks. Do not plant the rooted branches immediately in soil as that will shock the plant and kill it. Slowly add soil bit by bit over a week or two, before you transplant your laksa plant into a permanent pot.
Let me know if you need advice when planting your laksa plant by leaving your comments below!