Spicy Fish Soup from Malaysia (Penang Asam Laksa)

Spicy Fish Soup from Malaysia (Penang Asam Laksa)

One more recipe of the food heaven on planet earth: Georgetown on Penang, Malaysia. This dish is Penang´s signature dish. It is noodles in fish broth garnished with a lot of differtent vegetables. This fish soup is a spicy hot and sour dish. Before serving, a thick, sweet and salty shrimp paste is swirled on top of the dish. The fish soup is a must try when you are on Penang!


lactose free fish

Ingredients (Fish broth)
500 g Ikan Kembong (Indian Mackerel – You also can use other Mackerel )
2 liter water
1 pack laksa noodles
1 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar

Ingredients (Spicy paste)
3 Thai chilis, seeded (can add more chili for spicier stock)
10 shallots
2 tsp prawn paste
2 stalk lemongrass (use only the white part, about 6 inches)

Ingredients (Tamarind juice)
1 tbs tamarind paste
250ml (1 cup) water

Ingredients (Fish broth)
1 cucumber
1 handful mint leaves
4 cm ginger, thinly sliced
1 red onion – thinly sliced
1 Lettuce – thinly cut
1 Thai chili or 3-4 bird’s eye chilis, thinly slices
150 g shrimp

Clean fish, remove scales and guts. Extract tamarind juice by using your fingers to squeeze the tamarind paste with ½ of water. Strain tamarind juice and keep the seed.

Repeat another time with the rest of of water to make sure you extract all the essence from the tamarind. Using a blender, grind the spice paste with tamarind juice until fine. In a pot, bring 2 liters of water to boil. Add fish and boil for about 10 minutes. Transfer the cooked fish out into a bowl and let cool.

Add spice paste, the tamarind peel and the polygonum leaves and continue to boil in low heat into the boiling stock. Wet your hands constantly with a bowl of water, pick the flesh out of all the fish and break the fish meat into tiny pieces. Place the bones back into the stock, boil on low heat for 10 minutes.

Take pot off the heat, strain the fish stock into another pot, then add in fish meat into the stock, cover the lid, and lower the heat. Taste your Asam Laksa stock to make sure it’s sour and to your liking. Add sugar and salt to season.

Prepare a pot of boiling water, blanch laksa noodles (with a metal sieve) in the water for 1 minute and drain dry. To serve, place laksa noodles in a bowl and garnish all vegetables and shrimp on top. Pour the fish soup into the bowl and serve immediately with a spicy sauce or more fresh chilis.

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Based in Würzburg, Germany we started to write this blog in 2014 after a long trip in Asia. We are food addicted and love to travel in Asia. We post our own experiences, pictures and recipes.

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