Penang Assam Laksa with Salmon: For all the Penang laksa lovers out there, here’s a premium version of Assam Laksa using salmon instead of sardine. The tangy, sour and spicy flavours are highly addictive, and you’ll find yourself wanting more and more!
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This is a guest recipe from my neighbour T, who often cooks his Salmon Penang Laksa or Assam Laksa for his beloved wife B. She always gives it two thumbs up and has lots of praises to sing about her husband’s Penang Laksa specialty (拿手好菜 na shou hao cai) as he is a true blue Penang boy. I am very blessed to have been invited for Penang (Assam) Laksa with Salmon at his house, which is just across the road.
Personally I had never been a fan of Penang Laksa due to its strong fishy smell. But after tasting T’s version, I was completely won over. I guess it’s because he uses only top quality premium ingredients such as Norwegian salmon and big purple onion which he bought from Fairprice Finest, costing him almost 3 times the price of normal red onion.
After one bowl, I was so tempted to have a second bowl, but I held back out of consideration for his whole family who were having it for their meal, in case there was not enough! T’s Penang Assam Laksa with Salmon Recipe which I am sharing here is indeed very addictive (qi kek) due to its tangy, sour, spicy taste that keeps you wanting more of it (very kai wai 开胃). Moreover, it is very healthy as no oil is needed. Instead, it has lots of salad vegetables that go with it and the sour tamarind helps in rapid digestion too.
Hope you enjoy this recipe, and please leave me a comment below if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback for me!
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed
- Gluten-Free: No modifications needed
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: No modifications needed.
Penang Assam Laksa with Salmon
- 1 Pineapple
- 1-2 Cucumber
- 1 head Lettuce
- 2 bundles Mint Leaves About 50 gm
- 1 Big Purple Onion
- 3-5 Red Chilli
- 2 packets Laksa Leaves About 100 gm
- 1-2 Torch Ginger aka Rojak Flower
- 25 pieces Tamarind Rind (Assam Skin)
- 4 Salmon Fillet Big slabs
- 3 1/2 - 4 litres Water
- 2-3 tbsp Chilli Powder
- 3 tsp Salt
- 1 kg Thick Fresh Bee Hoon / Thick Rice Vermicelli / 粗米粉
PREPARATION FOR PENANG (ASSAM) LAKSA WITH SALMON (40 min)
- Remove the pineapple skin and cut out the eyes of the pineapple. Cut lengthwise into 6 pieces. Cut off and discard the centre core which is hard. Cut the six pieces into small wedges.
- Cut both ends of cucumber and use one cut piece to rub on both ends till milky juice comes out. Cut away the ends again and discard.
- Use a peeler to remove the skin of the cucumber (optional) and cut the cucumber into half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Wash the cucumber, dry with a kitchen towel and shred into thin strips. Leave it in the fridge for later use.
- Wash the lettuce and cut into bite size.
- Wash the mint leaves and remove leaves from the stem. Discard the stems and any rotten leaves.
- Remove the skin from the onion and wash. Cut into wedges.
- Wash the chilli and cut into small pieces.
- Wash the laksa leaves and remove the leaves from the stalks.
- Cut off the stem and the tip of the torch ginger. Keep the stem and the tips to boil in the soup.
- Cut the torch ginger cross-section into thin slices.
- Rinse the assam skins and set aside.
- Wash the salmon and cut into chunks.
COOKING METHOD FOR PENANG (ASSAM) LAKSA WITH SALMON (2 1/2 Hrs)
- In a large pot add in the 3 1/2 litre of water and bring to a boil.
- When the water is boiling, add in all the laksa leaves, assam skins, stems and tips of the torch ginger and let it boil over high heat for 1/2 hr.
- Remove some of the laksa leaves and assam skins leaving some laksa leaves and a few slices of assam skin in the soup. This is to ensure that the soup is not clogged with excess laksa leaves. However, it is also fine if you wish to leave all of them in the soup.
- Add in 2-3 TBsp of chilli powder and continue to boil for a few mins over medium heat.
- Add salt (around 3 tsp or to taste). Before adding in the salmon pieces, taste whether it is salty or sour enough.
- Add in all the salmon slabs and cook for another 10 -15 mins.
- Make sure salmon does not disintegrate into tiny pieces. Once the salmon is cooked, transfer it to a plate. Flake it into chunky pieces and put it back into the laksa soup. Turn off the heat.
- Place the packet of bee hoon into a large pot. Pour boiling water over it and blanch for 1-2 mins.
- Then pour the bee hoon into a colander and drain.
- Dish the bee hoon into individual bowls. Scoop the laksa soup and some salmon chunks over it and garnish with cut onions, pineapple, shredded cucumber,torch ginger, chilli, mint leaves and lettuce. Serve while it is hot.
- Rubbing the ends of the cucumber until the milky substance comes out helps to reduce the bitterness.
- You need to adjust the soup to your family's preferred taste. If it is too sour, add a little bit more water or sugar. If it is not sour enough add a little bit of tamarind juice. Add more chilli powder if you prefer it to be spicier.
- Most people use Mackerel but my neighbour T uses the most premium fish, Salmon. Salmon will give out its natural oil which is polyunsaturated. It is healthier and a good choice for those who are very health conscious. Generally most hawkers use fresh Sardine (Ikan Kembong) because it is cheapest, but for me, I really dislike using Sardine because its fishiness can really put people off just as it did to me.
- Be careful not to overcook the salmon.
- You can add a spoonful of prawn paste ('Hey Ko') if that is your preference.
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