Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homemade Assam Laksa


This is special dedicated to my high school schoolmate whom came to visit me in AZ, I am really happy she kept her promise. She told me she would like to learn how to make assam laksa without the overwhelming “her kor” – prawn paste flavor, which is exactly the same as my preference. So, I decided to take this opportunity to record my making of assam laksa properly, as you may know, all the while, my cooking is always based on “agak-agak” – estimation. Gigi, 你的面子够大了吧?老娘为你从出江湖! :-p


My version of assam laksa soup is clearer, taste more close to Malay version with a lot of chunky fish fleshes (again, my preference), if you like the typical Penang Chinese version of assam laksa, just add another 2~3 tbsp of her kor (prawn paste). I usually cook the soap one night ahead before serving.


Ingredient and steps for the soup:

  1. 4 lbs Indian Mackerel/Ikan Kembong

  2. 3.5~4 liter water

  3. 1 bunch kesom leaves (Vietnamese mint)

  4. 2 stalks lemon grass – smashed

  5. 5~7 tamarind skin

  6. 1 – 2” cube salted markerel fish – slightly roasted and mashed. (yes, salted fish, my secret recipe :-p).

  7. Tamarind Juice – 1 pingpong ball size of tamarind paste mixed with 400~500ml of water, rub the paste until the flesh dissolve in the water.

Spices – grind/blend the following ingredients

  1. 400~450g shallot

  2. 18~20 dried chili (soaked)

  3. 5~6 fresh red chili (I couldn’t get this from the store, substituted it with 4 chili padi, thats why my soap is not that red in color)

  4. 1 large sweet onion (chop to cubes before grinding)

  5. 1 – 1” cube belacan (slightly roasted)


  1. Salt to taste

  2. Adjust your preference taste with the following solutions :

    • spiciness – add more chili padi

    • sourness – add more tamarind skin or tamarind juice

    • sweetness – add more onion or prawn paste (if you like it)

Steps :

  1. Bring the water to boil, add in fishes, cook for about 10~12 minutes.

  2. Take out the cooked fishes to a big bowl and let it cool.

  3. Add in kesom leaves, tamarind skin, lemon grass, salted fish and ground spices to the fish stock, bring it to boil again, turn to low heat.

  4. When the fishes are cool, peel the fleshes and discharge the bones. Mash the fleshes with fork into chunky or tiny pieces.

  5. Before adding the fish fleshes back into the stock, pick up the kesom leaves from stock first (you don’t want all the fish fleshes stick on the leaves later).

  6. Add in the fish fleshes, tamarind juice (reserve some for later adjustment) bring to boil and turn to low heat, continue to cook for at least 3 hour before serving. Or you can let it sit overnight (with the heat off).

  1. Season with salt. Adjust the taste to your personal liking with the following solutions :

    • spiciness – add more chili padi

    • sourness – add more tamarind juice

    • sweetness – add more ground onion or prawn paste (if you like it)

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