Sweet and sour fish soup with noodles (asam laksa) #asamlaksa #indonesianrecipes

Sweet and sour fish soup with noodles (asam laksa) - 4 servings

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Indonesian Chinese
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Marvellina
Asam laksa is a popular Indonesian and Malaysian food. Totally different with curry laksa you have heard of. Sweet and sour (can be spicy too) fish soup with its distinctive flavor from torch ginger buds is served with thick round noodles and aromatic herb like fresh mints.
Print Recipe


  • 3 lbs of fresh mackerel fish or 2 1/2 lbs of canned mackerel fish in water
  • 1 lb of laksa noodles or rice noodles or udon noodles boiled until cook according to direction
  • 5 Tbsp of sugar or more to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup of seedles tamarind block/paste extract the juice with ½ cup of water
  • 1 stalk lemon grass cut into smaller pieces
  • 5 pieces of asam gelugur / dried tamarind peel
  • 8 cups of water
  • 6 pieces dried bunga kencong if you use fresh you only need 3 flowers
  • 1 Tbsp of grape seeds oil or oil of your choice

Ingredients to grind into paste:

  • 3 red chilies optional
  • 6 shallots
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 2- inch of galangal skinned
  • 2 Tbsp of shrimp paste / belacan


  • Cucumber julienned
  • 2 shallots finely sliced
  • 4 red chilis seeded and sliced
  • Few sprigs of mint leaves


  • Bring a pot of water to boil and boil the mackerel fish until cook. Once cool enough to handle, flake the fish meat and set aside. If you are using canned mackerel, they are already cook and you can skip this step
  • Ground all the spices mentioned above and saute until fragrant with 1 Tbsp of oil in a large pot
  • Pour in tamarind juice and 8 cups of water and bring it to boil. Lower the heat and add in lemon grass stalks, Bunga Kantan (Ginger Buds), Asam Gelugur (Dried Tamarind Peels) and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Discard the lemon grass, bunga kencong, and asam gelugur. Add in the flaked mackerel fish. Season with more sugar if needed. The soup supposed to be sour and balanced by sweetness and saltiness, but sourness and sweetness is the main taste here
  • Portion the cooked noodles into individual serving bowl and ladle the hot soup over the noodles. Garnish with sliced cucumbers, shallots, red chilis, and fresh mint leaves