Recipe: Penang Asam Laksa

With the worrying Covid numbers lately, it’s best to stay home and avoid going out unless necessary. Here’s a recipe for a good old Penang Asam Laksa to help with the cravings!

Penang Asam Laksa

By Margarita Lee

Margarita Lee

Ingredients A:

  • 1kg Fish (Parang, Tenggiri or Kembong)
  • 1 large can Sardines
  • 3L Water
  • Laksa noodles

Ingredients B:

  • 30 Dried chillies
  • 20 Fresh chillies
  • 2 pcs of Belacan
  • 20g Fresh kunyit (turmeric)
  • 300g Shallots

Ingredients C:

  • 5 bunches of Daun kesum (Vietnamese mint)
  • 5 sticks of Bunga kantan (torch ginger) – cut into half lengthwise
  • 50g Tamarind soaked in 1 cup of water, squeezed and strained
  • 20g Dried asam keping (tamarind pieces)
  • 10 sticks of Serai (lemongrass) – lightly smashed
  • 50g Lengkuas (galangal) – sliced thinly
  • 20g (2 tbsp) Belacan powder


Mint, sliced onion, cucumber strips, sliced fresh pineapple, chopped chillies, pickled garlic and Heko (dark prawn paste)


  • 2 tbsp sugar or to taste
  • Salt to taste
Photo by Margarita Lee


  1. Grind Ingredients B into a paste with a mortar and pestle, or in a food processor. 
  2. Steam fish for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove fish, let it cool, then remove and discard bones. Shred the fish meat by hand (to avoid bones) and set aside for later use.
  4. Boil Ingredients B and C with 3L of water. Add tamarind juice and asam.
  5. Add in fish and sardines. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Add salt & sugar to taste.
  7. To serve, put a handful of laksa noodles in a metal strainer and immerse in a pot of boiling water to scald the noodles.
  8. Drain and place into a bowl. Pour a ladleful of laksa soup or gravy over the noodles and top with the garnishing.
  9. Drizzle prawn paste to taste and serve hot.


Check out more of Margarita’s recipes on her FB @ Umummy Food!


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