What is Laksa Kedah?

A well-flavoured fish such as fresh sardines or mackerel (ikan kembung) is the base of this highly popular rice noodle dish from the northern state of Kedah. Once poached, boned and finely minced, the fish is gently simmered with chillies, shallots, shrimp paste and a variety of herbs. Tamarind apple adds a mouth-wateringly sharp tang so the final dish is hot, sour, savoury and irresistibly delicious - down to the last slurp.

Kedah mai ;)

Laksa is of Malay origin and is commonly sold all over Kedah This is certainly one of Malaysia's most popular noodle dish. It is rounded rice noodles (similar to but thinner than Japanese Odon noodles) served with gravy made from fish flakes and rich spices. The dish is garnished with vegetables and is certainly a healthy dish not cooked with oil.

Kedah Laksa Recipe


For the fish & stock:
400g ikan kembung
2cm knob ginger, sliced
3 large slices tamarind apple (asam keping)
1 teaspoon salt
600ml water

For the gravy:

10 large dried chillies, snipped into 1cm lengths
100g shallots, peeled and sliced
10g shrimp paste (belacan)
75ml water
2 slices tamarind apple (asam keping)
1 bunch (about 10 stalks) daun kesum
2 torch ginger buds (bunga kantan), halved lengthwise
1 tsp sugar
Salt, to taste

For the noodles & garnishes:
200g dried laksa noodles
1 cucumber, finely shredded
1 onion, finely sliced
2 to 3 limes, cut into wedges
10 bird's eye chillies, finely sliced
1 large torch ginger bud, finely sliced
3 to 4 lettuce leaves, coarsely shredded
1 small bunch ulam raja, plucked
½ cup whole mint leaves
½ cup daun kesum leaves, finely shredded

Recipe by Rohani Jelani and Photography by Law Soo Phye

Method :

1. Prepare the fish and stock. Place the fish, ginger, asam keping and salt in a pan and cover with the water. Bring to the boil and poach on gentle heat until the fish is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and remove the fish, reserving the cooking liquid.
2. Remove the flesh from the fish and weigh (you should get around 200g). Place the heads and bones into an electric blender, strain the fish cooking liquid into the blender and blend finely (to extract the flavour from the fish). Strain this. Reserve the liquid and discard the solids remaining in the strainer.
3. Place the strained liquid into clean blender jug. Add fish flesh and whiz finely in the blender. Set aside.
4. To make the gravy, cover the dried chillies with hot water and set aside to soak till softened, about 15 minutes. Rinse and remove most of the seeds. Place prepared chillies, shallots, shrimp paste and (75ml) water in an electric blender and whiz finely.
5. Transfer this mixture to a large saucepan and add another 300ml of water together with the additional tamarind apple slices (asam keping), daun kesum and torch ginger. Add salt and sugar, and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat. Add the blended fish and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, then take pan off the heat.
6. While the gravy is cooking, prepare the noodles and garnishes. Cook noodles according to packet instructions and strain. Arrange garnishes attractively on a serving platter.
7. Close to serving time, re-heat the gravy. Portion the noodles in shallow soup bowls and ladle hot gravy to cover. Top with garnish ingredients and serve immediately.

Laksa Kedah hunter's guide :

1. Kelang Lama Asam Laksa
Kampung Tunku Putra,09000 Kulim Kedah
Business hour : 11 am- 5.30 pm (Closed on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday)

2. Gerai Kak Pah
Jalan Gangsa, Alor Setar, Kedah GPS: 6.137056,100.36191
Time: 1pm–6pm (Closed on Fridays and major public holidays)

3. Kedah Asam Laksa

SS2/4A, Petaling Jaya, Selangor