PENANG ASSAM LAKSA
This piquant Penang signature comprises a thick, tangy gravy mixed with mackerel, and crowned with an assortment of garnishings.
Penang Chef Lim Por Tit has been dishing out this speciality at Copthorne King’s Hotel’s Princess Terrace for the last nine years. His version of authentic Penang laksa is rather addictive due to the spicy and sour taste of the fish broth. After being cooked, the kembong fish’s (Indian mackerel) flesh is carefully separated from the bones, and then flaked and added to the dish later on. According to Lim, the broth is cooked for four hours before being set aside overnight to ensure that maximum flavour is coaxed out. The following day, a mixture of spices is added to the concentrated broth and simmered. Other essential ingredients that flavour the broth include tamarind (assam) paste and dried tamarind slices (assam keping), which lends extra tartness to the broth, along with a herbaceous mix of laksa leaves, mint leaves, and ginger flower.
Before serving, the chef tops the thick noodles imported from Penang with pineapple cubes, cucumber slices, red onion, mint leaf, laksa leaf, red chilli, and slivers of fish meat, plus dash of hae ko (fermented prawn paste).