Air Itam Asam Laksa


my first food stop in penang was all the way in Air Itam, where the famous Kek Lok Si is. No prizes for guessing what we were there for. 😛 Asam Laksa! In all honesty, I have never developed any cravings for this tangy, fishy noodles dish, but when in penang, do as the penangnites do. Heh. This stall’s version sure changed my mind about the addictiveness of this dish.

Penang Asam Laksa

the tangy broth is made by cooking fresh ikan kembung (mackerel) and tamarind juice together. the process is a long and slow ones as the flesh of the fish has to be hand picked off to discard of the bones etc once the fish is cooked. the only is the special blend of ingredients added in. the key is in the freshness of the fish, which would not only determine the flavour, but also the smell of the fish. i don’t like it overly fishy. but this broth was perfect, rich yet not overpowering with the right notes of spicy and sour.

The broth is poured over cooked rice noodles (瀨粉), julienned cucumber, pineapple, lettuce, onions, some mint leaves, bunga kantan (torch ginger flower) and chilli slices. a generous of hae ko (prawn paste) is then added to give the broth an extra kick. even a non-asam laksa fan like me cleaned out the bowl.


also ordered a serving of crispy fried popiah to snack on whilst we waited for our asam laksa. This piping hot, cruncy popiah was stuffed with mostly shredded sengkuang (jicama) and slivers of carrots. Humble fillings perhaps, but juicy, sweet and so full of flavour.

good start indeed!

Pasar Air Itam
Jalan Pasar,
11500 Air Itam,

other reviews;
tham jiak


  1. wmw said

    Mmm…I usually down two bowls when I’m here! :o)

    epicuriousgirl says: bravo! 🙂

  2. Emily T said

    Had a bowl when I was in Penang bout two weeks ago too!

    But but.. why do I feel like the cafeteria in Jusco Midvalley still has one of the best asam laksas?

    In penang now? Bon appetit! Hehe.

    epicuriousgirl says: back from penang dah. just slow in churning out food posts. 😛

  3. KY said


    epicuriousgirl says: * passes you a tissue*

  4. dunno why..but never loved assam laksa..

    epicuriousgirl says: me neither. and to enjoy this meant that this was very good!

  5. […] wife’s fried beehoon looks good too, but we were filled to the brim with the asam laksa we had earlier. another “to-try” to add to our list. also famous here is the pei pa […]

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