Sunday, 8 November 2009

Assam Laksa / Penang Laksa

So appetising that it just makes one crave for more!

Penang Laksa or better known as Assam Laksa is from the state of Penang in Malaysia. The soup base is made from ikan parang (wolf-herring) and/or ikan kembung (mackerel) and the sour-tanginess from tamarind and lime/lemon juice. Mom normally uses dried tamarind slices and generous amounts of lime/lemon juice.

Was back at mom’s for a break and it has been ages since we had assam laksa at home. So it means cooking for an entire army!!

Mom ordered the fish (over 12 kg) which was delivered to our doorstep mid-afternoon. Then the food preparation commenced - poaching/boiling the fish. Then both of us spent a couple hours flaking the fish flesh from the bones. Have to admit, I went bit cross-eyed from the flaking! We then stopped for dinner and continued into the night peeling shallots.

7am the next morning, we were off to the Taman Tun dry market to pick-up the core herbs including bunga kantan (Torch Ginger Flower), galangal (Blue Ginger) daun kesom (Vietnamese Mint), tamarind, lemongrass, mint leaves, lemon/limes and.

Then off to Section 17 wet market for the special laksa noodles, pineapples, “he-ko” (a thick sweet prawn paste). At the noodle stall, we asked for 10kg of laksa noodles and the seller’s eyes nearly popped out! He only had 7kg. Well, better than nothing.

Back home - cut, chop, peel, press, grind, fry and boil.

By late afternoon, it was ready and the house was filled with an amazing smell that even our neighbours would be beneficiaries and didn’t cook dinner!

The couple of pots were sufficient for over 30 servings…slurp..


Thick Rice Noodles (Laksa Noodles)
Ikan Kembung (Mackerel) / Ikan Parang (Wolf-herring)
Daun Kesom (Vietnamese Mint)
Dried Tamarind
Lemon/Lime Juice

To Grind
Galangal (Blue Ginger)
Belacan (Shrimp Paste)

For Garnish
Bunga Kantan (Torch Ginger Flower), sliced
Cucumber, sliced/julienned
Pineapple, sliced
Onions, sliced into half rings
Mint Leaves
‘He-Ko’ (Thick Prawn Paste)

1. Poach/Boil fish. Take fish out to cool. Flake fish flesh/de-bone.
2. Keep fish stock aside.
3. Grind the ingredients. Fry till fragrant and add into fish stock. Bring soup to boil.
4. Add daun kesom into soup.
5. Add lemon/lime juice into soup.
6. Blanch rice noodles and put into serving bowl. Add the soup.
7. Add garnish and serve


  1. Laksa is so hard to find around here, I'm so glad you shared this!

  2. Hi gaga,
    Hope you'll enjoy your laksa. Am drooling just thinking about it.. lol

  3. Hello, thanks for dropping by my blog. When I came over to yours and saw this post, I wish you had dropped by earlier... I just came back from Popular bookstore with a new cookbook because it had a recipe on Assam Laksa in it. Wow the meal preparation you described above sounds awesome.I have never cooked for so many people before....Now I have a reference for local fare..:)

  4. Hi Shirley, hope you'll enjoy the assam laksa :)