Penang Laksa

Penang laksa (Malay: Laksa Pulau Pinang), also known as ASAM LAKSA or Penang Asam laksa comes from the Malaysian island of Penang. It is made with MACKEREL (IKAN KEMBUNG) soup and its main distinguishing feature is the ASAM or TAMARIND which gives the soup a sour taste. The fish is poached and then flaked. Other ingredients that give Penang laksa its distinctive flavour include LEMONGRASS, GALANGAL (lengkuas) and chilli. Typical garnishes include mint, pineapple slices, thinly sliced onion, hε-ko, a thick sweet prawn paste and use of torch ginger flower. This, and not “CURRU MEE” is the usual “LAKSA” one gets in Penang.




  • 5 ltrs Chicken stock
  • 200 gr Asam (Tamarind) pulp, extracted
  • 100 gr Galangal, peeled, chopped
  • 300 gr RAU RAM
  • 3 tsp Dried chile, flakes
  • 50gr SAMBAL sauce (see recipe SAMBAL)
  • 2.5kg Round scad fish (or Baby mackerel)
  • 300gr shallots, chopped
  • 5nos lime leaves
  • 30gr red, hot chile, sliced
  • 3nos lemongrass stalks, crushed
  • Petis udang to taste (Malaysian prawn sauce-black).
  • 2 cans 150gr sardine in tomato sauce (optional)

FOR SERVE: (per serve)

  • 100gr fresh rice noodle, or Dried rice sticks (cook as direction on package)
  • 1 tsp Udang sauce (petis udang)
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced onion
  • 1 tbsp pineapple julienne
  • 1 tbsp cucumber julienne
  • some sweet mint leaves (HUNG LUI)
  • 1 tsp sliced chile


Pepare the BROTH:

  1. In stock pot, (on mediem heat), add oil, saute SHALLOT, LEMONGRASS, CHILE, GALANGAL, lime leaves until fragrant, add stock and fish, and bring to a boil, simmer about 5 minute.
  2. Take off the cooked fishes when they are done, let them cool, pick meat up, discard the bones. set aside. Keep simmerring broth about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a blender, blend the soup finely, strain through a CHINOIS, discard the solid.
  4. Pour the trained soup back to stock pot, along with cooked fish flesh (flakes) (done above), sardine with sauce, RAU RAM (vietnamese coriander), SAMBAL, Chili oil can be added (optional) in for nice color.
  5. Seasoning to taste. Bring to a boil until serving.


  1. Blanch the noodle in very hot water, put in serving bowl.
  2. Ladle the hot soup into the noodle bowl, topping with sliced onion, pineapple julienne, cucumber julienne, sliced chile, mint leaves and enjoy!

Note: cooked Quids, Prawns, fishes can be added

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Post Author: dvd

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