The following recipe comes from an Australian based blog 3 Hungry Tummies:

Asam laksa (asam meaning tamarind in Malay) also popularly known as Penang laksa, is a lesser know member of the laksa family outside of Malaysia and Singapore. It is a fish and tamarind-based noodle soup believed to be invented in the “street food capital of Malaysia”, Penang.

Not a lot is written about the origin of this wonderful dish; I personally think it definitely has a southern Thai connection as the taste and ingredients used are very similar to keang som (sour orange curry)

makes 8 serves as a very satisfying one dish meal;

for the broth you’ll need;
  • 1kg of the freshest mackeral or any type of fresh fish you can lay you hands on, boiled and picked
  • 8p pcs of tamarind peel (asam keping/gelugorpictured above
  • 6 tbs of tamarind paste (asam jawa)
  • 10 stalks of Vietnamese mint (daun kesom)
  • 4 l of water
  1. Boil fish in boiling water for 5 minutes, remove fish, strain stock and add in the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Add spice paste (recipe follows) and bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add in flaked fish just before serving.
for spice paste you’ll need:
  • 500g of shallots, chopped
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass, chopped white part only
  • 10 red chilies, chopped
  • 10 dried chilies, soaked and chopped
  • small knob of turmeric
  • a small piece of shrimp paste (belachan)
you’ll also need;
  • 1 cucumber, jullienne
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 ginger flower (bunga kantan 花), thinly sliced – pictured in the second photo
  • 1/2 a pineapple, skinned, eyes removed and sliced
  • 2 red chilies, sliced
  • a handful of mint leaves
  • lime wedges
  • 1kg of laksa noodle (lai fun 瀨粉) or any soup noodles
  • 5 tbs of prawn paste (petis udang 蝦膏)diluted with some hot water – pictured in the second photo
Laksa broth bubbling away for 40 minutes. Remove solids and add flake fish just before serving.

Place blanched noodles in a bowl and pour the fragrant hot fish broth over.

Add toppings.

Drizzle some prawn paste over and mix everything up!! Makanlah!!!

Asam Laksa/ Tamarind and Fish Soup

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